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Nash extension close while Amare needs to prove his health

While I'm up here in Vegas toiling away watching the likes of Anthony Randolph (42 points) and Blake Griffin (16 pts/9 reb / a lot of stud) the real action is back in Phoenix. Go figure.

Steve Kerr was back in Phoenix to roll out Channing Frye as the newest Sun fan favorite (this team is going to have a lot of fan favorites next season). In he process, he dropped a couple of very important nuggets regarding the team's two main guys, Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire. He also talked about the 13th roster spot.

On Nash ...

Kerr confirmed what we've been hearing for a week or so that he will be meeting with Nash's agent in Vegas this week to finalize the terms of a two-year extension rumored to be at about $10m per year. Kerr wasn't ready to celebrate yet, but he sounds pretty confident a deal will be done. He reported that Nash is pleased with the moves the team has made this summer, including the addition of Frye and retention of Hill. One would assume he's also pleased with the departure of you-know-who.

On Amare ...

As had been reported earlier in the day, Kerr explained that the Suns want to see Amare play before discussing an extension. They have no deadline or timeline for the extension, but fully understand Amare's desire to use the leverage of his opt out at the end of this season. There are many teams that are going to have considerable cap space and Amare could get more money on the open market than the Suns are willing to offer.

We can speculate that Kerr and Amare's agent tossed around some numbers and came to the conclusion that Amare isn't going to get the max deal he wants until he shows himself to be fully recovered from a very serious eye injury. Kerr added that the prognosis on Amare and his latest eye surgery is good and fully expects a very motivated Amare this season.

It is looking highly likely that we will go into yet another year of Amare uncertainty and there is little doubt that we will be hearing a lot more Amare trade rumors before all is said and done. Assuming Amare is fully recovered physically, he's also going to need to show an increased commitment on defense and rebounding before any kind of max deal is in order.

On the 13th roster spot ...

Kerr said today that Sasha Pavlovic will not be part of the Suns future and while there is a small chance he could be traded, he will most likely be waived. The Suns aren't in any hurry, though, as there are no pressing deadlines to make a decision, but Kerr did say he wouldn't leave Sasha "hanging."

Some other options for the 13th spot include a 3rd point guard, although Barbosa can fill that role. They could also look at another big man or perhaps "wait for things to develop" and "take the best player available" which could be second round pick Taylor Griffin.

Earlier today, Gambo reported on the radio (and tweet) that the Suns still have interest in Chris Wilcox, but only if he would take the veterans minimum. He would be a steal at that price. Wilcox is a 6'10" physical specimen who's averaged a disappointing 9 points and 5 rebounds per game in his 7-year career. You might recall that Wilcox was taken one pick (8th) before Amare in the 2002 draft by the Clippers.

Speaking of Twitter, Kerr was asked if he was going to tweet. He joked that he had "better start so I can find out what's going on with our team."  He was making reference to the events of the past week:

1) Amare breaking the news about his eye surgery
2) Nash congratulating Grant HIll & Channing Frye on their deals prior to the Suns announcing them
The following Suns players have Twitter accounts:

And, of course, I am approaching my one-year anniversary on twitter @phoenixstan . If you aren't on board yet ... it's time.


Here's some audio clips from Kerr today provided by Sports 620 KTAR

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