NBA Trade Deadline: Possible suitors for the Suns’ Steve Nash

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Plenty of names will be floated around in the next week-plus as the NBA trade deadline approaches on March 15th.  Over the next week, I am going to take a look at which players are likely to be dealt and what teams might be interested in acquiring said player.  Steve Nash is still playing at an All-Star level but could be dealt since Nash is in the final year of his contract and the Phoenix Suns are really struggling this season.

I admire the loyalty that Nash and the Suns organization have shown to one another but it really seems to be in the best of both party’s interests to part ways.  Nash is 38 years old, a free agent after this season, and deserves one last chance to win a ring (which he is not going to get in Phoenix.)  The Suns simply don’t have the talent surrounding Nash to be a real player in the Western Conference and would wise to begin the post-Nash re-building effort now rather than risk losing him for nothing this summer in free agency.  If both sides decide it is time to move on from one another, Nash will likely be moved before the deadline.

Possible Suitors:
Portland: Right now, the Blazers are on the outside looking in at the Western Conference playoff picture and need to find some sort of added spark since I think they have the talent to make a deep run once the postseason begins.  An offer of Raymond Felton and Nicolas Batum could entice the Suns to send Nash to the Pacific Northwest.  Since Nash is a free agent though, the Blazers might only make this deal if Nash agrees to sign at least a one-year extension.

As for Phoenix, they get a much-need, young talent on the wing in Batum and a temporary replacement at the point in free agent-to-be Felton.  If Portland doesn’t want to part ways with Batum, how about Nash and Grant Hill for Gerald Wallace, Felton, and a draft pick?

L.A. Lakers: Pau Gasol’s name has come up frequently in trade rumors this season so why not send him, Steve Blake, Darius Morris, and one of the Lakers’ first round picks in 2012 for Steve Nash, Channing Frye, and Josh Childress?  Nash gives the Lake Show a needed up-grade at the point while Frye can fill in Gasol’s minutes in the frontcourt alongside Andrew Bynum.  Gasol and Marcin Gortat become a solid one-two punch upfront for the Suns while still giving them a “star” player.  Morris and a first round pick are assets for the future while Phoenix also gets rid of Childress’ awful contract and acquires a temporary fix at the point in Blake.

Utah: Devin Harris is having his worst season as a pro since his rookie season and the Jazz are sliding in the Western Conference playoff picture.  Nash would certainly give them a major boost at the point and help get Utah heading back in the right direction.  An offer of Harris (who becomes a free agent in 2013) and Alec Burks could get the job done.  Harris would provide Phoenix with a temporary fix at the point while Burks is a terrific young talent.  If I am the Jazz, I make this trade even if Nash doesn’t commit to signing an extension.

Orlando: How about one last ditch effort to keep Dwight Howard by offering up Jameer Nelson, Ryan Anderson, and J.J. Redick for Nash and Hill?  Maybe Howard is more likely to re-sign with the Magic if Nash is throwing him alley-oops?  Even if this trade doesn’t help keep Howard, Nash and Hill are free agents so Orlando would save about $16 million in cap space which would help them in their re-building effort this summer, assuming they lose Howard.  As for the Suns, they get a replacement point guard in Nelson, a shooter on the wing, and a young big man who could thrive in the desert.

Indiana: Since the Pacers are still $14-plus million under the cap, they could throw together an offer of Darren Collison and a first round pick for Nash.  For Indiana, it would be an issue of wanting to win now and as opposed continuing to build.  The Suns get a replacement for Nash at the point, a first round pick, and save a bunch of cap space.

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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