Some Canadians dreamed of a scenario where Steve Nash would agree to join the Raptors on Canada Day. Now the fear is that he’ll agree to join the Knicks on the Fourth of July.
Two heavy-hitting NBA reporters, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports and Marc Stein of ESPN, are reporting that the Knicks and Suns are discussing sign-and-trade possibilities that would see New York acquire Nash and keep him around on a three-year deal worth anywhere from $25-30 million (Woj says $27-30 million, Stein says $25 million range).
Whatever happens, Nash has played his cards beautifully from a business perspective throughout this whole deal. He created extra interest from non-contending teams (or maybe just Toronto) by admitting money was still a big factor. He got the Raptors to set a very expensive market for him, and waited until after Deron Williams re-signed with the Nets, when everyone knew teams looking for a star point guard would become increasingly desperate.
One way or another, I would hope that Bryan Colangelo is in the know about what’s going on and what Toronto’s chances are of still landing Nash. If he’s led to believe the Raps are still very much in it, the so be it. But if it’s becoming increasingly clear to Colangelo and co. that Nash will be a Knick, they better be shifting their attention to Plan B.
Reports still speculate that the Knicks would still at least try to match any offer for Jeremy Lin, and the Rockets are set to offer Lin a four-year deal worth around $30 million, so if Nash signs with the Knicks and Lin is the backup plan, the Raps better be ready to shell out some serious long-term cash for Lin and hope he wasn’t just a flash in the pan.
If the Raptors miss on Nash and either can’t acquire Lin or just don’t feel he’s worth it, I’ll remind you that my preference would be to then hope you can get something for Jose Calderon’s expiring contract and give Jerryd Bayless a chance to prove that he can be this team’s point guard of the future. As I wrote on Tuesday, why overpay or sell the farm for guys like Goran Dragic or Kyle Lowry when Bayless has produced at a similar clip with starters’ minutes, is two years younger than both Dragic and Lowry, and will likely be much cheaper than both, at least for this season?
UPDATE: If, like me, the thought of overpaying Goran Dragic scares the hell out of you, at least you can find some small consolation in this tweet from Stein on Wednesday afternoon:
With or w/out Nash, sources say, Raps will keep trying to trade for Kyle Lowry. Raps talked deals w/HOU at draft. Still want him either way
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 4, 2012
While I still believe giving Bayless a chance is worth a shot, acquiring Lowry, who is set to earn around $12 million total over the next two years, would make me a heck of a lot happier than being the team that gives Dragic $8-10 million per year.