Hollinger: Steve Nash To Portland Always A Possibility
One of the most enduring rumors in the NBA is Portland's interest in acquiring future Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash. And the combination of Nash being an unrestricted free agent and the Trail Blazers having, for the first time in recent memory, significant money to spend on free agents this offseason is only going to stoke those flames.
Enter our good friend and part-time Portlander John Hollinger, who drops two Nash-to-Portland mentions
during a chat today on ESPN.com:
sean (bridge city)
Where does Nash land this summer?
John Hollinger (12:55 PM)
A very interesting question. I think he's the consolation prize in Dallas if they don't get Deron Williams -- I don't think he could pass up a chance at a reunion with Marc Stein. New York isn't really an option unless the NBAPA lawsuit works out in their favor, which I consider unlikely. The other team that will pursue him hard is Portland, although they may prefer Goran Dragic.
But Portland needs a (real) GM to sign Nash, right? Who's *your* pick for that position, and who's your guess?
John Hollinger (12:59 PM)
Actually, I think it's far more important that they get real talent to put alongside Nash and make him think there's a chance to win big immediately. That's why the lottery is so important -- if Portland can dangle two lotto picks they might be able to net some big fish on draft day. They already have an all-star PF and three really good wings (Batum, Matthews, Williams), so it's not impossible.
Note that both of those questions came from Portland. You guys won't let the dream die!
While the team may prefer Dragic (I don't know either way, just for clarification), if for no other reason than he's 12 years Nash's junior, it would be hard to pass up an opportunity to sign one of the greatest point guards in NBA history. Nash averaged 12.5 points and 10.7 assists in 2011-12 while shooting 53 percent from the field, a career high. That percentage would have lead the 2011-12 Trail Blazers roster, and he's a point guard!
Hollinger makes a great point that who Nash is playing with will probably have as much to do with where he signs as how much he's being paid. I mean, money is going to play a big part, but comparable money and quality pieces probably gets it done over max money with a questionable supporting cast.
It also begs the question: Would you rather sign a 26-year old Goran Dragic for four years or a 38-year old Steve Nash for two years? For me, the answer depends on whether the team is able to, as Hollinger writes, "net some big fish" with what while hopefully be two draft picks in the lottery. If you can grab a borderline all-star caliber player with the draft picks and maybe another player thrown in and re-sign Nicolas Batum, I think you go for broke with Nash. If not, you take the long view approach with a guy like Dragic.