We all know that Nash is reaching an advanced age, but is he about to become a Dinosaur? These recent tweets by Marc Stein suggest that the Toronto Raptors are going to be VERY aggressive in pursuing Steve Nash at the beginning of the upcoming free agency period.
Shifting to free agency: Hearing Raptors want to park no less than a five-deep contingent in Manhattan to woo Steve Nash as soon as allowed
Raps president of basketball ops Bryan Colangelo wooed Nash same way in summer of 2004 ... and quickly convinced Nash to swap DAL for PHX
Considering that the recent actions of the Suns front office have been described as being less than assertive by their critics, have the Raptors possibly usurped the Suns as the favorite to secure Nash's services for the upcoming season? They definitely appear to be materializing as the primary competition. Will the Raptors sense of urgency win out over the Suns torpidity, or are the Suns a slumbering giant waiting for the free agency period to flex their organizational muscle?
Adam Francis from Raptors HQ already answered this question in our recent division preview:
Are the Raptors interested in Steve Nash, and if so, do they consider themselves a serious competitor to land him?
Are the Raptors interested in Nash? Without question and yes, I think they consider themselves a serious contender. Sure, there's talk of him wanting to play for a contender, but most contending and pseudo-contending clubs already have elite point guards. The only other teams that have had playoff success with PG needs are ones like Indiana, and it's hard to fathom Nash choosing markets like that over Toronto. New York? Don't see it either. Nash would need to take less money to play there, and it's doubtful the fit would be that great with Melo. Oh, and the team fired Nash's guy, D'Antoni.
Take Steve Nash off the Suns and put him on a Raptors squad with Bargnani, DeRozan, Davis, Johnson, Ross, and Valanciunas (among others) and that team is better than the Suns were last year. Given the fact that they can add another solid piece in free agency (thanks to Toronto's auspicious cap situation) and I could easily see them contending for a top 4 spot in the East. The Raptors can pay Nash, and people all over Canada (regardless of which side of the country he's from) love Steve.
The free agency period (July Moratorium) starts in less than 36 hours. There isn’t a whole lot of time to mull over the draft and dissect the action (or lack thereof) the Suns took. Pandemonium is right around the corner.
Susurruses around the league suggest that the reality of Nash leaving may be more serious now than at any time since his return, but most of this has just been shadows in dark corners type of speculation. Nothing concrete to suggest that Nash isn't approaching free agency open to weighing his options.
What do you think? Are the Raptors a legitimate threat? Is there a lurker that will surface? Are you ready to move on without Steve? This could be your last chance to give your thoughts on whether you want Nash back or not, so lay it all out on the floor. Consider this a free agency free for all…