Hard to draw too many parallels between the two since Hakeem was courted to be a championship partner with Carter, whereas Nash is being sought to fill empty seats. As countless reports have suggested, Colangelo’s going to be in New York trying to get Nash to sign a deal, and I have no doubt that he’ll throw him all the money available to him (after all, he gets it back in jersey sales). What would surprise me if this signing does happen is the lack of ambition that would have been shown by Steve Nash. Miami, LA and Dallas are probably others are better fits, and more in line with a championship that I would think he’s seeking, so the only reason he would sign with the Raptors is money, no matter how much it’s covered under the garb of a pseudo-homecoming (he’s from BC, not Toronto). At least he’s being honest about it:
The Raptors would be one of those teams where you’re probably not going there to win a championship in the next three years. For me it’d be going home to Canada, to a great city, and trying to help an organization move forward.
Then again, here’s another, more realistic perspective from the National Post:
So now the team is ramping up to bid for Steve Nash when he becomes a free agent this weekend. There is a lot to like about the idea of Nash in a Raptors jersey, obviously, because he’s still a fantastic player and would instantly make the team relevant again. But is it at all realistic? The case for Nash-to-Toronto boils down to the fact that he is Canadian. And also that he is Canadian. Put it this way: he has shown extraordinary loyalty to the Phoenix Suns franchise, playing and not complaining even as its owner strip-mined the team to save money. Even if he is suddenly going to walk away from the Suns, has a player ever used the sunset years of his career to join a team that finished 12 wins shy of the playoffs? Yes, Nash might place considerable value on living in Toronto and being better able to carry out his new duties with Basketball Canada. I hope he does. But I doubt it. The late-career retirement laps are supposed to take place as the final piece of a championship contender, not as the on-court instructor to a roster full of kids.
Get him. It makes no matter to me, it’s not like we have a point guard on the roster whose development he could halter by “stealing” minutes. We have Calderon (been there, done that), Bayless (just missed a guy who was open in the corner), and…um…Ben Uzoh? Sign me up for Nash, at least it’ll add another twist to a season that won’t have playoffs at the end of it. It’s a circus, the crazier the circus, the better. Let’s see the variables that already make next season interesting:
- JoVal: Let’s check whether the product matches the hype, all this talk of “he would’ve gone #2 this year” is making me thirsty.
- Terrence Ross: Massive reach or great scouting.
- DeMar DeRozan: Let’s see how he reacts to some competition form a younger, talented, gun (as I said yesterday, if Alan Anderson can shake him, we’re in trouble).
- Andy Bargnani: He’s always interesting! His reputation right now is based on a spectacular 13-game start to the season, so it’s always fun to track his season as he alternates between the franchise’s savior and its bane.
- Dwane Caseys’ stickage: Fine, you got them to play hard for one year, but will he wear off like he did in Minny or is he for real.
Five reason to look forward to next season, granted it’s not much, but considering the drought around these parts, this is like a harvest. Add Nash to the mix here and you got yourself a 41-night circus in town. I might even pay for a ticket.
From a basketball POV, what would a 38-year old Steve Nash bring? Let’s see, we know he’s not the defender that Dwane Casey would ideally want, so his value obviously lies on the offensive end, specifically how he interacts with Jonas Valanciunas, Andrea Bargnani, and say someone like, Terrence Ross. The pick ‘n roll game, which he’s awesome at, is likely the biggest basketball reason to sign him, especially considering that that’s JoVal’s specialty. Not that Jose Calderon’s bad at it, but having someone of Nash’s caliber and quality can only accelerate a big man’s introduction to the NBA. Notice I didn’t say DeMar DeRozan’s mix with Nash, because since DeRozan can’t shoot, I see it hard for any offensive synergy between them. Terrence Ross though, well, see Jason Richardson.
Here’s the video where Nash says he’s considering leaving Phoenix.
So where am I going with this? Sign him, when you got nothing, you got nothing to lose. Just make sure the deal isn’t going to cripple us for years to come. Would a two-year front-loaded deal work? I think so.