Monday, July 2, 2012
Knicks Meet With Steve Nash. Was It All For Nothing?
Upon free agency starting early Sunday morning, the Knicks wasted no time in taking the initial steps to improve the roster.
Though it was no surprise (but nevertheless, a bit of a reach) New York made two-time M.V.P. Steve Nash their first priority when it came time to reach out to free agents.
In addition to meeting with the Knicks, Nash also met with brass from the Raptors, from whom he reportedly received a $36 million, three year offer. The Mavericks and Nets also apparently have interest in the veteran guard as a contingency plan for whichever team doesn't win the Deron Williams sweepstakes.
On the surface, the Knicks only have an exception worth $3.09 million to offer Nash initially. That said, other options can certainly be explored. Nash can be acquired via a sign & trade deal, which would enable New York to offer a longer and more lucrative contract, while at the same time, shipping a couple of players to Phoenix to help the salaries match up a bit.
Marc Berman of The New York Post suggests the Suns would be interested in acquiring Iman Shumpert back in return. Landry Fields and Jared Jeffries also represent potential New York free agents who could be signed & traded in a potential deal as well. The Knicks would have to toss in a non-guarenteed contract or two, such as Jerome Jordan and/or Dan Gadzuric.
The ironic thing about potentially adding in young guards like Fields and/or Shumpert is that it would create an immediate hole at shooting guard for the Knicks. Though the team's depth at the position isn't great as it is, trading one or both of those players would make New York even weaker at the two.
Why make a trade to fill one need, but create another glaring one in the process? Of course, the Knicks could add Nash and subsequently still re-sign Jeremy Lin, pairing the both of them in the backcourt. Is Lin strong and agile enough to cover other shooting guards in the league? At 38 years of age, Nash certainly won't be.
There's already talk that Nash would not mesh well with Carmelo Anthony, who thrives with the ball primarily in his hands. Why bring Nash in amongst that, and also challenge him further to find a balance on the court with Lin as well? It'd be one thing for everyone to come to an understanding mentality that they want to play together, but meshing all the different styles and talents on the court is another.
Though Nash could represent a strong piece of the puzzle, it may prove more difficult than desired to get a deal done, considering all the opposing factors. It may be easier to go after someone like Raymond Felton, who is not only familiar with the Big Apple, but also looking for a shot at redemption after struggling with the Blazers last season. Playing with other point guards and sharing time in Portland, Felton may be a better fit to spell and play alongside Lin.
With the Knicks' core group of strong talent already in place, it's important to simply add to that by bringing in complementary players. The time to win is now, but that may be difficult to do if the team chooses to continuously rock the boat.