Heading into this summer, Steve Nash was seen as a top-tier free agent who could dramatically change the fortunes of one lucky title contender. And while everyone realized that the magnitude of his impact wasn’t comparable to that of Deron Williams' or Dwight Howard's, we all still figured it would be relatively significant.
Over the last couple of weeks, however, the buzz surrounding Nash has noticeably quieted.
A few months back, during an interview with Dan Patrick, Nash more or less indicated that he would be open to playing with LeBron James and the Miami Heat. At the time Miami was viewed as a team that desperately needed a solid point guard in order to win a championship, and Nash was seen as someone who desperately needed a team with whom he could win a championship in order to cement his all-time greatness.
Since then, both of those theories have been proven to be untrue.
The Heat showed everyone that they didn’t need a one-guard to make a title run and, on the other side of the equation, Nash made it clear that he didn’t feel like he needed a title in order to etch his name into NBA lore.
Just like that, the Nash-to-Miami rumors died a quick, painless death.
Beyond Miami, other rumored Nash suitors were said to be: the New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Although Nash gave New York a little shout out last week, popular opinion seems to be that he isn’t interested in playing for Mike Woodson. That, coupled with the still up-in-the-air status of Jeremy Lin’s Bird Rights (David Stern is appealing the ruling that came down last week) makes the Knicks a longshot to acquire Nash’s services.
That leaves Toronto and Portland. Who has the leg up out of those two teams? Well, as noted by Randy Hill of Fox Sports:
Meanwhile, several NBA personnel executives have confirmed that the Nash-to-Toronto rumors may have real traction.
"I've been hearing that from people that would know," said one Western Conference sharpie, sounding very much like the rest of us. "The Raptors may not be ready to win right away, but with (Andrea) Bargnani, (DeMar) DeRozan and maybe (Jonas) Valanciunas coming over next season, they could be pretty decent right away with Nash. And they could have enough cap space to get something done there."
And the Blazers?
The Portland Trail Blazers' long-reported interest in acquiring Nash may have waned or expired entirely. The Blazers, who own the sixth and 11th picks, also have a new general manager. Neil Olshey, fresh from a pretty strong spin with the Los Angeles Clippers, may have enough new-guy latitude to prefer rebuilding.
"I want to make it clear ... we're not looking for quick fixes," Olshey said recently. "We're not looking for aging veterans."
There is still plenty of time for Nash to warm up to New York or for Neil Olshey to warm up to him but, at the moment, it appears though the smart money is either on him landing with the Raptors or staying in Phoenix.
(Kudos Fox Sports)