Steve Nash made headlines yesterday, telling reporters he’d consider signing with the Knicks this summer.
“The Knicks are a great franchise and I live in New York City (each summer), so I’d definitely consider them if they were interested,” the Phoenix Suns’ mainstay said at a promotional appearance in Manhattan.
Is he serious? Is he a great big tease? The NBA equivalent of that 11th-grade cheerleader that deigns to talk to the guys in the band, but wouldn’t even consider joining one on a date? Or is he going with the Scott Boras Memorial “let’s use a New York team to drive up my price in free agency” plan?
Maybe none of the above.
I don’t think Nash is using the Knicks to drive up his asking price for one simple reason: the Knicks can’t offer near as much as other teams. If the NBPA wins the “Bird Rights for Waived Players” case, giving the Knicks the option to exceed the cap to re-sign Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak, they’ll be able to offer Nash the full mid-level exception – about $5 million in the first year. The Suns reportedly willing to pay about twice that, and about half the league will be able to equal that offer.
If the union loses the Lin case, the Knicks’ options will be even more limited. They could still offer Nash the full MLE, but that would probably mean losing Lin and Novak and taking themselves out of the running for any other free-agent additions.
Getting the Knicks involved in the bidding doesn’t change Nash’s earnings potential one iota.
So is it just a tease? I suspect not. Nash is a smart guy, and one who has reportedly taken care of his money. I think he’ll honestly consider whether or not he wants to play out the last couple seasons of his career in his adopted home city.
Besides… what was he supposed to say? He was at a promotional event… in New York… alongside Clyde freakin’ Frazier. You don’t have to be a public relations genius to know that dismissing the Knicks would be a major gaffe in that setting.
Following up on some things I wrote in Working the Wire this week…
I thought the Clippers would have a hard time finding a way to sign JR Smith, but it seems I was a little too optimistic. Based on conversations with one NBA cap guru, I thought the Clips’ only real chance to land Smith would be to work a sign-and-trade with the Nuggets. But cap expert Larry Coon has since noted that the new CBA forbids any sign-and-trade deals after the start of the season… so the “Smith for Ryan Gomes” deal I suggested is pretty much out.
Smith has reportedly drawn interest from the Clippers, Knicks, Lakers, Bulls and Thunder. A decision could come soon; his team was just eliminated from playoff contention.
Wilson Chandler has suggested that he intends to sign with Denver when freed from his obligations in the Chinese league. Aaron Brooks’ status is less certain; his likeliest destination is still Phoenix, but the Suns are deep at the point and owner Robert Sarver has a reputation for being cost-conscious. Or cheap – whichever you prefer.
via RotoSynthesis >> Re-working the Wire.
The fates of the NBA ballers who signed lockout contracts to play in China probably won’t be settled until March… but that doesn’t mean you should wait until then to place a waiver claim. In fact – depending on your league’s rules, it might make sense to look at Wilson Chandler and Aaron Brooks right now.
My guess is Chandler and Brooks will land with their old teams when the time comes – at least through the end of this season. It makes sense for the Suns to retain Brooks, as they could lose Steve Nash to free agency this summer, and Chandler is a great fit for Denver’s team-oriented “no stars” style of play. Both are must-adds in just about any format… and if you’ve got a roster spot and your league allows waiver claims on unsigned players, putting in a claim right now wouldn’t be a horrible idea. (You could always drop one if you need the slot between now and March.)
More on Chandler, Brooks, Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith and more via RotoSynthesis >> Injuries and Expatriates: When to claim Z-Bo, Manu, Wilson Chandler and Aaron Brooks.