Older and Damn Productive

A quick one since its timely.

Everyone seems concerned with Nash’s ability to contribute at 38. While its very rare for a player to be productive at this age, its not without precedent. Here’s how “old and unproductive” Nash was last year – in a compressed season where most of the older guys suffered through the schedule.

Source: basketball-reference.com

He’s obviously too old to play any more. How did he stack up last season against other PGs – of any age?

Source: hoopdata.com

So Nash has been very productive despite his age. But can he hold up and be productive at reasonably the same levels? NBA aging curves suggest Nash should be in steep decline. However, PGs can often hold up longer, especially “pass first” PGs. And Nash’s diet and exercise regimen is well documented.

A PG playing at a high level at age 36 or older isn’t without precedent. The great John Stockton played at a very high level for several years beyond 36. I don’t see why Nash couldn’t replicate this feat.

Source: basketball-reference.com

I’m not sure how one can argue bringing a winning culture – with a NBA champion as a coach (Casey) and a two time MVP as a leader – to an organization is a bad thing.

Could he get hurt and it turn to be a bad deal? Sure. Could a #1 pick get hurt and play less than 100 career games? Yeah. There are no sure things – but this is as smart of a move as it gets.

Any time you have an opportunity to get a top ranked producer and a first class leader, you do it.

Questions? There is a dedicated to “Statophile Q&A” forum thread here . If you prefer to send questions privately, you’re welcome to email me at tomliston [at] gmail [dot] com or find me on Twitter (@Liston).

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  • Rapsilly

    38yrs old. Hmmm, Liz Taylor looked good in her 40’s. Heather Graham was hot deep into her 30’s….Wow. 

    Let’s just say, there’s not a lot of excitement about this trade; not among true fans.

    • I’ll bite – what’s the definition of a “true fan”.  Do you control its membership system?

    • Raptorboy

      I don’t miss a game unless I really can’t help it. Used to listen to them on the Fan 590 when I couldn’t get em on tv. It’s been this way for me since the Vince carter days. Does this qualify me as a true fan? If it does I for one can say that “I’m very excited that Nash is coming. I’m more excited about JV so I’ve got twice as much to look forward to!!” It’s too bad Jose is the odd man out in all this. Whoever get him will be very pleased!! He’s way better than we give him credit for. Go Raps…gonna be a great season!!!!!!

      • rapsilly

        I guess I meant a fan who sees other teams build contenders (San Antonio, Lakers, OKC…) and wonders why our team has to suck with no hope of a future. I’d rather suck for now, with a view to “building” a perennial contender.

        If you can explain how throwing big bucks at a 38 yr old former MVP fits the “re-build” scheme, my ears are open. I just can’t see it right now.

        • Trruth

          I think there are 4 fans of raptors,  
          1. delusional/stupid as a rock (refer to raptorboy), but appreciates the game, gotta admire their loyalty to the franchise. like a dumb dog grinning and wagging its tail sorta… 2. the ambitious and knowlegeable fan (like yourself) 3. knowlegeable fan, who has talked himself into believing the best the raptors can hope for is mediocrity , so relishes the idea of short term gain, as something bigger isn’t possible anyways in their mind (Matt52) 4. Italians pushing an agenda (cesco etc..)

          • Trruth

            fifth fan: likes to bitch and moan about the franchise, but offers a little bit of insight as to how to improve the franchise, not enough to make up for the bitching and moaning (bcstefanskigots2go, pran, etc.) 

            sixth fan? don’t know if they are fans of the game, but nothing gives them more pleasure then taking the piss out of fan type 5 mentioned above. (Rob, steve, etc…), which to be honest they kinda deserve. haha.

            • Gman

              You forgot the seventh type of fan, the ridiculously pretentious fan…like say, Trruth (the names are a dead give away).  The ones who think they could step in tomorrow and with their amazing wisdom and insight GM this team better than the people who are being paid millions of dollars to do it.  

              They chastise any type of sincere enthusiasm for the Raptors, as being naive and egregiously misplaced…but the fact is they don’t know anymore than the rest of us.  And if they do it’s because they need to get a life because they spend way too much time in this stuff and not in the real world…

              And maybe that’s why they’ve become bitter old women right in front of our very eyes…because they don’t have a life outside of this.  

              • Trruth

                you are a clear 6th fan. I guess that kinda makes me 5……

              • Trruth

                and yeah go with I don’t have a life, b/c a clearly have more basketball knowledge than your faggot ass.

                • Trruth


                • Gman

                  Yeah, I’m gay.  Nice retort.  I love when stupid people think they’re smart and then pull out the most ridiculously obvious insults…and I guarantee you don’t know more about basketball than I do…unless you played it in University like I did…and have been a discerning fan for forty some years…

              • what the

                you forgot the 9th fan the (nilankas) who think they know TAL-lent gary fn forbes notice how the offence flow

                • Nilanka15

                  Wtf are you talking about? Make sense please.

                  Forbes is one of the top 3 bums this franchise has ever committed more than 10 days to.

            • hater

              and wut category are u in destro?

          • raptorpoo

            I like your categorization but I there’s a part that seems a little off. Matt52 doesn’t believe the best raptors can hope for is mediocrity, he’s actually disillusioned himself into thinking that we’ve got an amazing core that’s going to achieve great heights under the management of BC.

            And just to avoid sliding into the 5th category, I’ll include the point that:
            – we’re not doing anything to raise our ceiling of mediocrity by the way things are going now
            – in order to break out of this rut (even though a many of you will cry foul by me saying this) is to let this team suck for a couple more years – ala OKC. Add the likes of a Shabaaz/Noels and/or Parker/Randle, trade bums that you need to be constantly on their ass for them to give a poop (DD/Bargs).. And then we’ll actually be contending for a championship rather than contending for a playoff spot. I think a lot of fans miss this last point and would be satisfied with a team that just gets into the playoffs.

            ** Added note: Need a winning culture my butt. Did OKC have a winning culture while they were drafting the likes of KD, Russ, Harden, Ibaka?

          • cesco

            # 4b , haters pushing their agenda ( sleepz , destro , statement , nilanka , the swirsky , etc…)

            • Statement

              My agenda is to have a winning team, brother. 

              I have no obvious favoritism just because a player shares the same nationality with me. 

              You on the otherhand are blatantly biased, hence the “Italians pushing their own agenda” categorization.

            • Statement

              BTW you must have been crying on Sunday after Italy got spanked.

              • Trruth


    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      DHoward has a new favorite and it’s Dallas:

      RicBucher Ric BucherSource: With Nets out of equation, Mavs go to top of Dwight Howard’s wish list. No other teams – Lakers included – on it. For now.

      • Bendit

        DH did this because DW is probably going to choose the Mavs. Oh the Nets.

  • Rapsilly

    If BC could land Deron, then you’d see some excitement…

    And screw off with the “never to Canada” b.s. Toronto is the 4th largest city in North America, and we got it all…

    • cesco

       What is so exiting about a player who is getting max money and led his team to 22 wins , he is no LBJ or Kobe for sure , more like a Bosh .

      • sleepz

        Being a champion and an all-star isn’t that bad is it?

        Perhaps being a “near all star, if I didn’t get hurt, and if I actually played like an all-star” is a better player to obtain? lol

        • cesco

          Nash + Andrea > DW + JJ , next season will prove it .

          • Destro

            worst pick and roll combo in league history…

            • cesco

              Watch the games instead of pouting non-sense . Andrea hardly ever rolls , instead he stays at the periphery . When he goes to the basket he is usually dribbling the ball .

              • Destro

                LOL !

  • playoffs please

    we gotta make a move after this, james johnson and demar cant shoot, witch is something you need to be able to do when you play with nash

    • This (surprisingly) isn’t true.  Nash only had 3 players with above league average eFG% of ~49%.  10 teammates had below average eFG% (incl 4 with over 1200 minutes!)

  • The_Truth

    I don’t understand all the negativity and hostillity of signing Nash by Raptors fans.  Realistically, the Raptors have an increddibly small chance at winning the championships ever, let alone in the next 3 years. 
    We are in as good a place as any junky-middle class team to make a jump similar to what the Grizzlies did the past two seasons.  Does Memphis realistically have a chance of winning the title next year?  My thoughts are no they don’t.  For the Raptors to become relevent and respected across the league (similar to the form laughing stock of the league Grizzlies) is something we should be gunning for, ….. not some unrealistic dream for title.  The way I see it that Nash lends credability to the franchise (much like Vince did for that short but glorious few seasons) were not only we as Raps fans see the difference but others see it too.  Is there not value for adding a guy that will likely get us broadcasted nationaly in the US?  That can only make getting other FAs in TO easier.  For that reason alone he is well worth the money.
    Add on top of that the refereeing aspect of things.  I mean I can’t be delusional in thinking Nash will swing at least a few of the 10+ questionable calls the Raps get per game in our favor.  Even shaving off 1 or two of the garbage team = garbage calls infractions that go against us can make a difference.

    I am a full believer in that Nash makes the Raptors better in all ways.

    • Destro

      because he’s 38 and you never know when his game will completely erode…
      Were gonna waste valuable cap space on a player to sell some tickets but wont improve the team in the Win-Loss dept
      It contradicts what we have been told is a commitment to rebuilding
      It adds a terrible defensive player to an important position where we need an upgrade defensively…

      • Rapsilly

        Well written, especially the “contradicts” part.

      • Bendit

        Cmon man. You are feeding into a tired negative narrative. This is not some bozo you are picking up off the scrap heap. Did you even read Stockton’s numbers above at the same age and beyond? Yes he had a better team but Nash has better numbers with a team as bad as the Raptors the last 2 years. He takes care of himself and is not into typical nba bs & swag. As well, I expect further upgrades to this team. You and me have no idea whats going to happen. AD #1 just busted up an ankle. Nash has been “the” man in the L. He understands his challenges coming here and its not to win a championship. So whats to beef about. Consider him an exchange for Jose re the cap and top up that glass of yours. Cheers. 

        • Destro

          Actually i think the tired narrative is that he is in his prime and top tier calibre at this point (Neither is true) and will elevate this team to another level and will make trash on this roster better…and that its a good fit and hes worth the contract at age 38…

          IMO thats the tired narrative in play here…

      • Statement

        The two things that keep this move from being 100% positive for me: 1) Colangelo seems like a snake oil salesman, so this move seems to be a greasy, sleasy way to manipulate the emotions of a fan-base to make a buck, made by Vince McMahon (er, Bryan Colangelo). That is just a thing I’ve invented in my head though, no need to take that seriously

        2) Nash will be consuming the cap space for the next three years.  This is of course risky.  This first year would only be 2 mill above Calderon, but the next two are the risk.  I think it’s likely that Nash is above average for most of his contract, but again it’s risky. 

        I’m thinking that Calderon would have played out his contract then signed for something smaller for us, also offering above average production as well.  Then you have that money to upgrade SF and SG.

  • mountio

    Good stuff Tom. Its clear Nash can still play. Will he be a stud at 41? Not sure .. but he should be very serviceable this year and next … so its worth the risk.
    This, along with the most obvious – whats the downside, since we are headed for a 10-12 draft pick without Nash in what looks to be a horrible draft .. says we should do it. On top of that, the chance that other legit players follow .. this is a good BASKETBALL move. It doubles as a good business move .. so all the more reason to do it.

    • RaptorFan


  • Pstevens2

    Thanks Tom. Maybe some of these guys will shut up. 
    “Any time you have an opportunity to (get a) top ranked producer and a first class leader, you do it.”Agree 100% 

    • Destro

      No you dont…money,age and other factors come into play….

      • Bendit

        Yes you can when an exceptional player is involved and has shown little sign of slacking off. This is not a contract in perpetuity. Its for 3 years and a successor can be acquired within the first 2. Nothing is guaranteed but in the evolution of the Raps in 2012 I believe the young ones on the team will have an accelerated development because of a Nash. He has made others into stars and more of them should publicly acknowledge it.

        • Destro

          Deron Williams,CP Rose are exceptional players…Nash is barely hanging on to a top 10 status right now…

          He has shown plenty of signs of slacking off,in cause you havent noticed his numbers have dropped….Who did HE make into a star that wasnt a star already ?
          Boris Diaw and Raja Bell are NOT stars…neither is James Jones,Walter McCarty,Lou Amundson or anyone else your gonna google from past Suns teams…You’re giving him too much credit and not enough to the fact that THOSe other guys were NBA players….and ur not talking enough about some of the cons that will be on full display if he comes here esp in his twilight those cons will be glaring with a bad team…. 

      • RaptorFan

        Destro – Dude its NASH!!!….all-star last year…..he’ll be good for 3 years…..better than jose with better passing and better shooting…..2 time MVP…..Captain Canada!!!…..

        The more i think about it, the more i get giddy with excitement….you seen Nash make the shitty suns passable as a basketball team????…..Amare is nothing without NASH…… PERIOD!  imagine what he can do with our team….

        Nash will make everyone better…..its proven!  We need NASH for all of the reasons stated above….

        I’m also starting to believe its in his best interest and this deal can get done early! 

        trruth – btw i must be fan #3 lol

        • Destro

          Amare was an all star before and after Nash….that narrative is completely false…..Id be giddy if it was Deron Williams…

          I prefer my PG to play defense…

  • Daniel

    Tom, please don’t discuss Nash’s signing and his productivity in a vacuum. You shouldn’t consider yourself a statistician if you don’t analyze the opportunity cost. On your first ranking spreadsheet Nash has a WS of 7.3 compared with Jose’s WS of 6.3. In other words, Nash had 1 more Win Share contribution than Jose, who probably would have had a higher WS had Bargnani not missing half a season. We obviously need upgrades at the other positions in order to increase the total number of Wins for the team.
    It is amazing what patriotism can do to rational people. Not even the Raptors stated the goal of acquiring Nash during this season. All of a sudden, when MLSE realized they have no chance of competing for a title they aggresively promoted Nash as the saviour. Then the media lined-up behind them and then the hard-core fans followed suit. That’s not different how economic policies get created (usually with disastrous consequences) or how wars get started. The reality will set in and then the fans will blame only the management for thier mistakes. The only true assessment should be done at the time of the decision and not afterwards. On this count I’d say 80% of the fans like this move therefore they should accept the consequences with no complaints.

    • “…please don’t discuss Nash’s signing and his productivity in a vacuum.”
      Daniel – that’s why its called a “snapshot”.  Else a proper post, given what you have laid out, would have to consider the whole team, including opinions on other free agent signings.  This would take me ~25 hours of work – at least.

      This was a post about his productivity despite his age. 
      And BTW, if you want to give Calderon extra wins for not having Bargnani, do you give any additional credit to Nash given his the two best players next to him were Gortat and Dudley?!  You’re vaccuuming a bit as well.

      Comparing the signing of Nash to how wars get started seems a *bit* of a reach.
      10 points for masterful use of hyperbole though.

      • Seeten

         I think you should look at his defensive numbers, also, Tom. There is a perception in Raptor land that Nash is a terrible defender, a pylon, as it were, and in my limited research, his opponent PER and defensive numbers appear to be better than average.

        Chris Paul: Opponent PER 13.8
        Steve Nash: Opponent PER 13.6
        Jose Calderon: Opponent PER 18.0

        • Destro

          Eye test is failing you…..PER for defense *yawn*

          Hes long been one of the worst defending PG’s and everyone round the league knows and NOW ppl are actually starting to make sublte references about it IE JVG at the draft quip…

      • Daniel

        One of the cardinal sins of any prognosticator is to use past perfomance as an indicator of future performance. You have to consider variables such as age, style of play, familiarity with the other players in order to determine future performance. I can say without any doubt on my side that Nash doesn’t make us better than Jose when you consider all the variables.
        Regarding Gortat and Dudley: we didn’t have better players than Gortat in the PnR or Dudley in 3 pt shooting. Jose made Amir a premier offensive PnR player and made Bosh, or at least didn’t hinder him, an excellent PnP player.
        I always liked Nash as a player, Canadian or not. He’s fun to watch even though he plays a losing type of basketball. At this point in the Raptors evolution I can’t think of a worst move that bringing Nash to our team. We have huge holes at SG, SF and C and Jose can easily hold the fort until next season when we’ll have a better indication if Jonas and Ross are great, good or mediocre NBA talent. There is no reason to throw the kitchen sink at Nash now.
        My honest question for everybody is: had Nash not been Canadian how would you have considered this move?  

        • mountio

          you have to be kidding. I could give two shits if nash was Canadian or from Mars. The reality is, we have watched Jose break down over the last several years (this one was a major aboration), whereas Nash has been durable. Just from an injury / wearing down perspective, Id take Nash over Jose for the next three years. (Obviously there are a lot of guys id take over both .. but thats not the question). From a bball perspective, its not even close .. Nash plays at a high level and actualy gets OPEN shots for his teamates. Jose never gets by his man and best case gets a 17 foot contested jumper for his teamates. The stats show it, the eye test shows it, the team’s records show it (you really think the other suns are better than the other raps last year?). Most importantly with Nash though is that he is legit. Legit to US players. Legit to free agents. Thats the PR point of the move just as much as the Canadian thing.
          Hate to say it so bluntly, cause Ive liked Jose over the years .. but relative to Nash, Jose sucks. Thats why we are talking about amnestying him and we (and other teams in the league are dieing to get him, even at 38)

          • Rapsilly

            Last year Nash had 12.5 ppg and 10.7 apg. Jose had 10.5 ppg and 8.8 apg.  Comparing Jose to Steve up top, well, obviously Steve played better last year. Mind you, Jose is 30, Steve 38. 

            I think we all agree that Jose is overpaid in his current contract. I think we can also agree that Steve will be overpaid as a 41 year old at the end of a 3 year contract. Jose comes off the books next year. I say we take a flyer and see what better options come up in the future.

          • Daniel

            The contenders are not after Nash whereas I heard the Lakers, Heat and the Spurs are interested in Calderon. Jose may get a championship during his career whereas Nash will definitely not get one by signing with us. Do you see the irony?
            People have lost all the perspective talking about signing Nash. I’m done arguing anyway as there is nothing I can do about it. I just thought is is important to show the other face of the coin when discussing potential signings this off-season.
            For the record, I rather preferred trading Jose for Lowry in order to bring the PG of the future the management has been talking about incessantly for the last year. I’d also consider bringing starters at SF and C (until Jonas hopefully takes over) positions crucial going forward. We should never give up trying to build a contender.  

            • Nilanka15

              Based on reports, Jose for Lowry was never on the table. It was our 8th pick for Lowry.

            • RaptorFan

              I would take Nash over Lowry at the point guard position for the next 3 yrs….we still have Bayless and he puts up similar numbers to Lowry when he starts and he’s only 23…..

              i’m not sold on Lowry..

        • Gman

          Sorry Daniel, there is too many assumptions in your analysis.  Past performance is absolutely a necessary indicator of future performance as is age, style of play, chemistry, and familiarity with other players.  

          I’m glad that you’ve always ‘liked’ one of the few point guards to ever play the game who is a two time MVP.  Who will be a first ballot hall of famer.  Who is infamous for raising the game of everybody he plays with.  Who has been in the talks as the best point guard in the league for ten years.  Who actually raised aspects of his game at the age of 38.  Who has been one of the greatest sportsman in Canadian history. Who will be, if we get him, the most significant free agent signing of this franchise.  
          I’m so glad you ‘like him’ you patronizing ass.

          He will bring a level of legitimacy to this team that we haven’t had since Carter/Oakley.  

          And if you’re a fan, then you better get on your fucking knees and pray that he decides to come here…because if he doesn’t.  That’s it.  Period.  End of conversation.  If the best basketball player Canada has every created spurns the Raptors, good luck getting any quality free agents to ever look at us seriously again.  

          We all whisper it, but it’s true.  The Raptors are a joke.  You remember when D Wade was asked if he would come here to play?  And he laughed into his hand and said, ‘Uh, no’?  
          That’s the reality.  

          Nash comes here there will be TV coverage in a way we haven’t seen in ten years.  There will be sold out games again.  Our attendance will veer, for the first time in five years, back to being one of the fuller houses in the NBA.

          And then the wallet loosens and maybe after three years of being flush they go in to the red and get us some better free agents who actually think about playing here because the culture has changed because of Casey and Nash and JV and Ross and maybe some of the other pieces getting better.

          Anybody who thinks this isn’t a franchise precipice moment is kidding themselves…

        • RaptorFan

          Dude – Its NASH!!….he was an all-star last year…..was Jose (question marks because my laptop is acting stupid)…………Listen…..dont compare NASH to Calderon EVER AGAIN!…got it (question mark!)

          anytime you can get a two time mvp and all-star YOU DO IT!….especially if he is Canadian


          we are paying him 2 million more than Jose with lots of cap space!  I would prefer NASH over Rudy Gay or Igoudala!  What have they done for their teams – have they made the east or west finals with a shitty Amare, Barbosa and DIAW(question mark) STFU

          • Destro

            WHo cares that hes south african ? Why does that matter ? Your not getting an MVP,your getting a guy thats 38 and on his last legs…if you take Nash over Rudy Gay theres really nothing else to talk about it…you clearly are a curling fan posing as a raptor fan…good day.

            • RaptorFan

              Rudy Gay?? He’s overpaid and overrated….look what Memphis did WITHOUT him and now you want this dude on our team???

              I’m not sold on Rudy ….How many times did Rudy make an all-star team???  you think he can come and be our saviour?? LOL

              Does he make anyone on his team better?

      • CJT

        Ya think. 

    • Rapsilly

      Wow, that’s deep. Now I’ve got a headache.

  • DoNDaDDa

    if i wanted annual tanking for lotto picks only to miss out on any good talent id follow the leafs..

    raps have enough youth its time for them to mature & who better to lead the way then captain canada

  • guest

    I guess 40 is the new 30.

  • c_bcm

    I am a big fan of the Nash-to-Toronto talk. But I want to see some sort of contingency plan or follow-up to the PG situation. This is why I would have loved the Raptors to draft Kendall Marshall, because it would allow a transition into the post-Nash era. 

    I realize this is putting the cart before the horse. We don’t have Nash yet. But I just hope that Colangelo goes out to get a young rookie PG THIS YEAR to come in behind Nash (if we get him). I don’t think this is Bayless, and it won’t be Udoh…I hope. 

    You think the Rockets would take Calderon for Lowry? Could we get both Lowry AND Nash? (I realize this comment just ruined a perfectly good post)

    • mountio

      as to your last question .. yup .. that comment made me zone out any rational thought earlier in your post. Calderon for lowry not in a million years

    • steve

       What about Collison from the Pacers now that they’ve given Hill a big contract ?

    • ghost

      I would trade Calderon/Davis plus 2nd round draft pick for Lowry in a second and pass on Nash even though I think he would be fun to watch. I would have a pg the could play develop with our young players for another 10 years.

      • ghost

        We would have a pg that could play and develop with….

  • Rob

    Excellent article, always nice when someone posts facts.

  • Destro

    Final nail in BC`s coffin,i cant wait 🙂

    All you dont worry be happyfaggots gonna have permanent frowns next year…i cant wait to read all you spin your bs and lie about how much you hated the signing…

    25 wins 2 more years at 10mil PLUS…ya heads about to spin 🙂

    • hater

      why you gotta go round callin every1 faggots dummy? actin all hard on the internet stfu.

      • Destro

        bawk bawk bawk bawk

        • Malefax

          Calling people faggot confirms you have nothing useful to contribute. 

          • Destro

            My rapsheet round here is godly,im not the poster you want a problem with breh…im mayor mc cheese in this bitch…

        • hater

          i knew you was a chicken shit.

    • RaptorFan

      I personally dont care if the raps spend some $$$…..their payroll has been one of the lowest in the league for a while now……you dont win being cheap…..we all agree on this!

  • Gfgfg

    die destro u stupid fucking cunt

    • Destro

      Nash aint shit and neither are you ya bitchmade muthafucka

  • TheR3dMenace

    If Nash comes there will be at least one Raptor in the All-Star game. Him. And maybe another if they get off to a hot start. Steve will produce points. The Raptors and Casey proved to us they could play some semblance of D. This is a winning combination. Another FA pick-up for the 3 spot and we are golden.