The reports out of New York (via Newsday) are that Jason Kidd is close to a decision that would keep him in Dallas for three more years (and $24m). He seems to be weighing a lesser offer from the Knicks that would also keep him closer to his ex-wife and three kids who live in the area.
The Knicks obviously need a point guard and just as obviously Steve Nash would love to play again for D'Antoni. Nash said again recently that if he can't come to terms with the Suns that he would consider a trade to the Knicks.
...the Victoria, B.C. native, who is heading into the final year of a contract that will pay him $13.1 million U.S. in 2009-10, acknowledged that if the sides can’t reach a consensus, "than a trade would always be a possibility." And if that’s the case, the point guard said he would like to play in New York, where his family spends its summers.
"I would preface it by saying that I love Phoenix and that’s what I’m focusing on right now," Nash said. "But I live in New York City, and I love it there, and [Knicks head coach] Mike D’Antoni was one of my favorite coaches. If it didn’t work out in Phoenix, obviously that would be a place I’d consider."
If Kidd does decide to stay in Dallas how might that influence Steve's willingness to deal with the Suns? He was obviously and openly frustrated last season at the hiring of Terry Porter and he reportedly told Steve Kerr that he wanted Shaquille O'Neal traded away.
I've never heard either of them (or anyone else) say anything about it, but one has to wonder how much Nash really wants to play for Steve Kerr and be part of a Suns rebuild. The Suns and Kerr for their part clearly want Nash to stay another three years but I doubt they are going to be willing to pay him the $13m+ per year he's asking for. Especially when Kidd is reportedly looking at $8m per year.
Kidd's decision could spell the end of the Nash era in Phoenix by freeing up a job with the Knicks.
Regardless of what Jason does or what Steve wants, the Suns could pick up Nash's option this year and keep him against his will. But if within a few weeks a deal isn't made for an extension then the better option is to trade him now.
Nash showed us last season that he's not going to play his best ball when he's unhappy and keeping him in Phoenix if he wants out would clearly be an uncomfortable situation.His trade value right now is also much higher then it will be next summer. Just like with Amare, if the Suns don't meet his demands for an extension then there is a huge risk in letting him walk for nothing.
Between Amare and Nash, right now Nash might even be of higher trade value to the right team. Of course, Amare is the more "valuable" player given his age and ability but Nash is a proven winner who's going to take a much smaller and shorter deal then Stoudemire.
If Nash wants to go to Knicks then the Suns should make that deal happen. They don't have a lot of great pieces to send back in return but certainly a resigned David Lee is an option along with Danilo Gallinari and a first round pick for next season (since the Suns don't have any of those). The problem there is no point guard coming back and a log jam at power forward. Maybe a three team deal that nets the Suns a point guard like Raymond Felton or perhaps the Knicks sign Bibby or Miller and them trade them for Nash.
The Suns without Nash would certainly take a huge step back next season but lets face it, if Nash doesn't want to stay three more years that's going to happen anyway. Might as well get as much value as you can right now and between Nash and the Knicks you have two very motivated participants in any negotiation.
Heck, I would take David Lee and Gallinari and then sign Allen Iverson for a year.