Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Knicks Closing In On Steve Nash, But At What Price?
After making Steve Nash their number one priory when the clock struck 12AM on July 1st, Yahoo Sports! is reporting that the Knicks have emerged as the frontrunners to acquire Steve Nash, via a sign and trade deal with the Suns.
With three very strong pieces to their contending puzzle in Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler, New York appears ready to go for the jugular with their minds set on winning a championship.
But at what price will being able to compete at such a level come? The Knicks would reportedly ship NBA All-Rookie First Team member Iman Shumpert, along with Toney Douglas and Dan Gadzuric to Phoenix in the deal for Nash, a two-time NBA M.V.P.
As he grows older, Nash continues to appear as though he's been drinking from the fountain of youth. Even at the age of 38, the veteran guard averaged 12.5 points and 10.7 assists, while shooting 53% from the field and 39% from downtown last season. Could the key to his longevity be the Suns' highly regarded medical staff? Would he be able to maintain his level of play through the duration of the reported three year deal (worth approximately $27-30 million) he may sign with New York?
How Nash would fare with the Knicks' training staff at his disposal remains to be seen, but the team appear keen on at the very least, taking that chance.
Shumpert is already a nice player to have on a team, coming within just four votes of being named to an NBA All-Defensive Team in only his rookie season. What's more, his athleticism helps him connect on an array of explosive dunks---not only filling it up on offense, but exciting the Garden crowd. There are major positives to the young stud's game, but that's exactly why the Suns are interested in him. That said, as far as the Knicks are concerned, he's a steady defender and an impressive complementary piece to their existing core, but nothing more. Trading away Shumpert should not be considered giving up the farm for Nash. Shumpert likely won't win New York a championship (as fun as he can be to watch), but the opportunity for Nash to bring one home instead exists.
Acquiring Nash (and sending Shumpert the Suns' way) would create a big void at shooting guard for the Knicks. Not only will Shumpert be out of town, but the Knicks also stand to lose Landry Fields, who signed a three year, $20 million offer sheet with the Raptors on Tuesday.
New York has found hidden talents in the likes of Jeremy Lin, Steve Novak, Shawne Williams, and even Fields himself in recent years. To fill the void at the two-guard among their several star players, perhaps the Knicks can uncover yet another gem as they look for a perimeter defender.
After years of waiting, the time is now. Going for the gold now may sacrifice a bit of the future, but having a championship trophy to show for it would all be worth it. The Knicks just have to cash in to help the fans realize that.