For the first time since 2004, Steve Nash is not a Sun. Joining him in the unrestricted free-agent market are Grant Hill, Shannon Brown, Ronnie Price and Michael Redd, who all became free agents at the hour.
Being a two-time MVP and probably the best floor-general in the league, Nash is one of the more popular NBA free agents this offseason. He's also had some issues with this back during his career, and when you combine that with his age of 38, the most recent report by Sam Amick of SI.com seems a bit surprising.
Sources confirm that the Raptors are ready to offer a deal that would pay about $12 million a year, with the deal being either two or three years long.
According to Sam Amick:
Nash has extensive Raptors ties, among them his connections to former Suns GM Colangelo to his time with former Raptors coach and current vice president of pro scouting Jay Triano, who worked with Nash on the Canadian Olympic team.
Sources confirmed that the Raptors are likely to offer a deal that pays approximately $12 million annually, though it remains to be seen whether it is for three guaranteed years or two years with a team option in the third season.
Basically, Toronto is prepared to offer Nash at least $24 million to play through age 40, or at least $36 million to play through age 41. Toronto has plenty of young talent, but haven't made the postseason in three straight years. They're adding Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross, and feel that Nash is the missing link to maximize all this youth and potential.
Via Marc Stein of ESPN:
As if video plea from Steve Nash hero Wayne Gretzky isn't enough I'm told Raps have Gretz lined up to call in during Sunday sitdown w/ Nash.
Wow, $12 million a year for Nash? I know he's good, but that's a lot of money and years at this time of his career. To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if the Raptors ended up offering up to $14-15 million for Nash. I'm hoping all this money brings over the Phoenix training staff as well.
This is more than basketball, for both sides. Bryan Colangelo and Nash share a bond that goes back many years, and Nash's nationality is the cherry on top for this deal. The Raptors need to, and are willing to, blow any competition out of the water. I wouldn't be surprised if they even offered Nash (under the table) a front-office position guarantee, too, once his playing days are over. Remember, Steve Nash is now the general manager of the Canadian men's basketball team.
As Alex Kennedy reported earlier, the Raptors could have traded the eighth pick in last week's NBA draft for Kyle Lowry, but held off to aggressively pursue Steve Nash.
Steve Nash and the Suns handled his last season under contract in Phoenix incredibly well. There was no media circus, no trade-deadline speculation, and rumors were practically non-existent. Please take notes Dwight Howard, you immature buffoon.
As a result, the rest of the country didn't pounce on the opportunity to criticize an unsuccessful year for the Suns, one where Nash did as much as he could with a roster where he was forced to either score or create a scoring opportunity for a teammate on virtually every single play he was on the floor.
Other teams like the Heat will also pursue Nash. They don't have as much money to throw at him like Toronto does, but they've got something else. The question is: Does Nash want a homecoming or a championship?
Check back to find out the latest on Nash's free-agent situation.