Steve Nash has made it public that he wants to return to the Phoenix Suns. But there is a caveat. He wants some more talent to play with. Nash's feelings are clearly understandable. It would make very little sense for him to sign on for the remainder of his career carrying a .500 or less ball club on his creaky back for 82 games.
We have all understood that ever since the brief Porter/Shaq debacle that the front office has realized that keeping Steven happy is an excellent policy to maintain. Now more than ever the idea rings true. The Suns, with no starting PG waiting in the wings are stuck creating organizational decisions based on the desires of their 38-year old future Hall of Fame point guard.
It's pretty clear that Nash is as close to a player/GM as there is in the league. As such, this off season should be busy for the Phoenix Suns. There are a few dollars in the coffer and plenty of needs on the court. The question I am considering is:
"Who of the current Suns on expiring deals does Steve Nash want to bring back for next season?"
- Shannon Brown - Brown came to Phoenix to play next to Steve Nash with the hopes of having a career year and thus, cash in. Who could blame him? After losing the 2 guard spot to Jared Dudley out of camp, Brown started the season slow and ugly. Yet since being inserted into the starting lineup, Brown has been the go to scorer for the Suns. He's scored in double figures in 10 straight games. He's young, athletic, a finisher. The Suns could do a lot worse than Brown as their starting 2 guard. Problem is, he's going to want 3-5 years and a significant pay increase. I would like to bring him back, but he may not be worth what he asks (just a hunch).
- Sebastian Telfair - Not unlike Brown, Telfair started slow, and at times was absolutely awful. He struggled to find his shot and create for teammates. Watching Bassy dribble off 18 seconds of the shot clock and then hoist up brick after brick was infuriating. But he's been more consistent in the second half of the season, his defense is tenacious, and while he still has the tendency to dribble too much, he has shown signs that he could be a decent PG off the pine. Thing is, you have to figure he'll see more and more court time as Nash ages. Can he improve as Nash declines? I would think Bassy is tired of moving around, team to team. I'm thinking he'd love to stay for a few more years, and he'd continue to be pretty cheap. I wouldn't mind bringing him back.
- Grant Hill - BAMF wants to continue playing. And if he does, you can bet Nash wants to play with him. But how many games do you expect him to play over the next few years? If it's a condition of Nash returning, it's a non-issue. Pay him fairly with incentives for numbers and games played. He is a defensive specialist and still a very good player. You have to bring him back.
- Michael Redd - this is an interesting one. He's bound to be cheap instant offense off the bench along with veteran leadership. Again we're talking huge injury risk. But another 1 year deal with an option could work. I could see Redd wanting to stay with Aaron Nelson, Gentry, Nash and Hill. Still, he doesn't add to the Suns youth. Let him go.
- Ronnie Price - You fill out your roster with Ronnie Price on the cheap. I like his defense, but thats about it. He was a one year rental. Let him go.
- Robin Lopez - a big man with some skills is hard to come by. Robin didn't get his extension mid year, and it's understandable due to performance and behavior. He didn't get dealt at the trade deadline, which could mean that the Suns want to evaluate him based on a full, healthy season before deciding what he's worth. Or, it could mean no one was all that interested. He seems to have settled in to his back up role. I see Lopez maturing and solidifying the second unit up front. With his injury history he could be a career backup, playing 15 minutes per game. And that may suit him and the Suns just fine. Re-sign him.