Steve Nash Wants Long-Term Deal This Summer, Claims Back Is Fine

March 23, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash (13) waits for the tip off against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Phoenix defeated Indiana 113-111. Mandatory credit: Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE

(SB Nation Arizona, Avinash Kunnath) Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns is 38 years old, and he's not getting any younger. But it's hard to notice that when you watch it on the floor. Nash has performed at an All-Star level, piling up 11.3 assists per game while averaging 12.7 points per game and shooting 53.7% from the field and 38.9% from three. Despite his age, Nash seems to be producing as well as he ever as in the most efficient manner possible.

It should come as no surprise he wants to stay in the league. It might be a bit of a surprise how long he plans on staying. Marc Stein of ESPN reports that Nash wants to play into his 40s, and he wants his new deal to reflect that come time for free agency.

Nash, who turned 38 in February, also told ESPN.com in a phone interview before Tuesday night's game in Sacramento he intends to "sign for three more years this summer" and play beyond his 40th birthday when he either inks a new deal to stay with the Suns or finds a new team via free agency.

Responding to a New York Post report in Tuesday's editions which described the condition of Nash's back as "bad as it has ever been," Nash strongly disputed such suggestions. He expressed great satisfaction with the way his health has held up through the rigors of a lockout-compacted schedule that called for 66 regular-season games in a span of about 120 days.

It's a tall order, but if Nash is healthy and he stays this productive, I doubt it'd be hard for any team to turn down three years of one of the greatest point guards ever playing the way he's been playing.

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