We’ve been pretty focused on the NBA Draft here at RaptorBlog over the last couple of weeks, but it appears we finally have some non-Draft Raptors-related news to pass along. With NBA Free Agency beginning shortly after the Draft, the rumours should begin swirling out of control over the next week or so, so how about we start it off with another Steve Nash report.

During a radio conversation between Eric Smith and Jack Armstrong, Smith announced that while in Miami, he heard from “national media types from the U.S.” and “at least one prominent agent” that believe Steve Nash has a three-team shortlist that includes the Phoenix Suns, the Portland Trail Blazers and your Toronto Raptors.

No New York. No Miami.

From a Knicks perspective, Jeremy Lin (and Steve Novak) was granted “early Bird rights” in an arbitration ruling today, so while the NBA might appeal the decision, it looks as if the Knicks will be able to keep Lin around without much worry of the salary cap. This is big news for the Knicks, but also big news for teams (like the Raptors) who have been linked to point guards like Lin and Nash.

With Lin assumed to be out of the picture, perhaps a team like Toronto now focuses all of their attention of grabbing Nash. If New York manages to lock up Lin, as expected, perhaps they no longer see the need to go after Nash. Steve has said as recently as this week that he would definitely consider the Knicks as an option (and why wouldn’t he consider the city he lives in for parts of the year?), but you would have to assume that retaining Lin lessens the possibility for the Knicks.

If the shortlist report is accurate, it should make for an interesting little competition. The Suns have the loyalty advantage, and we all know that Steve Nash might be loyal to a fault. The Northwest familiarity of Portland, it’s proximity to B.C. and the fact that the Blazers are probably the closest to a playoff team of the three has to have their fan-base feeling good about the situation.

As for Toronto, well it’s Canada. It’s Nash’s home and native land. It’s where he can end his career representing his adoring country and focusing on his duties as General Manager of the Canadian national team.

If Steve Nash’s decision really is down to these three teams, then as Jack Armstrong stated in the aforementioned radio spot, “I like Toronto’s chances.”

And if you’re not convinced Nash joining the Raptors would be good for the franchise, here’s some suggested reading from a while back.

Comments (15)

  1. While I’d like to say that Toronto is his “home & native land” – I would say Portland is likely closer to home than Toronto (geographically if not also geopolitically). Living in the Cascade Mountain range would seem awfully familiar to someone who grew up in BC.

    • Shhhhh! No one needs to know that!

    • ” Living in the Cascade Mountain range would seem awfully familiar to someone who grew up in BC.”

      Then please explain why he spends most of his time in New York…….

  2. I would love to Nash with the Raptors, the core or the team is signed for next year, kleiza, derozan, johnson, bargnani, johnson, davis are all signed, add nash and thats a pretty good base, but Portland has Mathews, Aldridge. I think TO has pretty good chances

  3. I know most of everyone is all for signing Nash, but I don’t see how it’s a good thing. Yes, he’s a future hall-of-famer, and will undoubtedly propel us to much more wins but what’s the best case scenario? We make the playoffs as an 8th seed? Then what? Now unless Derozen, Davis, Val, and the rest of the young players somehow get better overnight or become impact players within Nash’s second year, our ceiling will always be first round exits. I’m not underestimating Nash’s talent, I’m just a little pessimistic about the talent of everyone else on the team. If building for a championship is the goal then signing Nash will not get us there. If making the playoffs, and feeling good for a few years is the goal then Nash will bring that and more.

    Ya I know, it’s not like being terrible for the next few years will guarantee that we will draft a superstar or be able to build the OKC way, but at least there’s the unexpected factor. With Nash (again, barring surprise developments from players) you kind of know what you will get, and it’s not a bad thing, it’s just not going to be anything more then playoffs.

    I think its best for Nash to chase a championship. The guy deserves it and he should really try joining a team that can help him get there. Though, it is his decision at the end and if Toronto it is, it’s not like I won’t be excited to watch him play here.

  4. Like tmk above, I think that’s a horrible idea… I REALLY want to see him in Indiana (he’d be a great fit there and with the young star contracts, they have to cap space) where he has the potential to be with a contending team that plays his style for a few years…
    But if he ends up in Tdot, I will still be happy :)

  5. The thought of Raptors drafting Damian Lillard and having Nash around for 3 years to mentor him is giving me the shakes.

    • Yes, that would be great.

      I would love to have Nash here, but only if Jose can be moved (Chicago’s pick? Back to Phoenix?)

      I’ve been saying I don’t want him without some other high quality talent coming as well, but the more I look at what he was able to do with that POS Phoenix team last year, the more I think he could do even more with the Raptors.

  6. .
    I’ve wondered – should Nash become a Raptor – why Steve & Jose couldn’t begin the season together.

    It would allow Toronto to preserve both players – especially for alternating back-to-back games – as well as allow Casey to have 2 top ball-handlers (and decent shooters) on the Court together for limited minutes. And then as the trade deadline approaches – when Jose’s value would be at a peak, move him to a team that needs a top back-up, or replacement for a downed player.
    .

  7. Native land?!?

    Steve Nash was born in South Africa, from a British and Welsh pair of parents.
    He lived in Canada for some years, before going out again to USA for his entire college and NBA careers. When not playing basket, it lives in New York City.

    Odd kind of obsessed Canadian patriot!

    • You’re right. His citizenship is New Yorkean. Stupid Canadians.

    • Btw – you completely blow any basketball + N.A. culture credibility you may lay claim to when you reference “playing basket.” Nicely done.

      • Dear smartest SR,
        we say “playing basket” where I live.
        So what?
        It does not hurt any credibility.
        Reality still wants that Nash was born in RSA from not Canadians, and live 99% of his time not in Canada.
        I know lots of Aborigines more Canadian than him!

    • Lived in Canada for some years ? from 1 year old to 18 years ? just the formative years of a persons life, just the years he learned to play basketball up until college. Yeah that so doesn’t make him canadian 17 years of your life when you learn to talk, think, interact with society, go to school. “it” lives……. Wow, you could use canadian education too.

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