At first glance Steve Nash to the Knicks is seemingly every New Yorker’s dream scenario. What’s not to like about bringing in the best point guard of the past decade; a player that is a career 90% free throw shooter and is arguably the greatest point guard in NBA history. I’ll tell you what’s not to like: the money.
Steve Nash has put it on record that money will be a factor in deciding his ultimate destination, which is nothing but bad news for the Knicks. The Knicks are currently sitting with a payroll of roughly $63 million (options included) which puts them over the $58 million cap. Therefore, the only method New York has of signing Nash is via the Full Mid-Level Exception, which would effectively lock the Knicks and Nash into either a three- or four-year contract at a max of $5 million per.
On one hand, it’s Steve Nash. He’s been a league leader in assists for most of his career, has the most 50-40-90 seasons of any player in NBA history, and finished third last season with a Pure Point Ratio of 10.67. On paper, New York could get one of the premier point guards in the league who could dominate the ball and effectively facilitate the offense by giving Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony the right shots on the court. However, the problem is that it’s either boom or bust on the Knicks books.
For one, Nash is 38 and isn’t getting any younger. He’s probably going to demand at least the full mid-level from any number of suitors, and if his skills were to diminish New York would be strapped with yet another cap-restricting contract (they used the Amnesty Clause on Chauncey Billups).
Also take into account that signing Nash would essentially prevent the Knicks from signing any big names in the future because they’d have so little room to maneuver. For example, young point guards like Darren Collison or Ty Lawson could end up on the market in a few seasons, but being tied to Nash effectively puts the Knicks out of the running for pieces that could contribute to their future. It would also be difficult for the Knicks to rebuild their thin bench, as being tied to a Full Mid-Level Exemption would effectively limit them to only veteran minimum guys, who at this point are few and far betwee due to post-lockout inflation.
A better option might be a guy like Andre Miller, who is a solid point guard in his own right but would likely take half the MLE at 2-years, $5 million, thus giving the Knicks their much needed depth a point guard for the near future, but also allowing them some free agent flexibility down the road.
The question the Knicks front office has to ask themselves is, what do they want most out of Steve Nash? Do they just want solid depth at point guard? Do they believe Nash can keep playing at a high level into his 40s? Or are they really after the massive marketing behemoth that would be an Amar’e/Melo/Nash trio?
Steve Nash is a legend, and he’ll be a great help wherever he goes, but a point guard is not the only piece of the puzzle that New York is missing. They have Amar’e, Carmelo and some young pieces like Iman Shumpert and Jeremy Lin (potentially) to build around, but what they sorely lack is a bench. The Knicks were 18-6 under Mike Woodson, despite all of the injuries, meaning it’s very likely that adding a stop-gap PG like Miller would be enough to keep them competitive while also allowing them to accumulate a quality bench and leaving the option to woo a big name PG when one becomes available.
So while Steve Nash to the Garden sounds like a great headline on paper, it makes very little sense for a rebuilding team with so little cap room to begin with.
Fan Hub Action
Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
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