Originally posted on WeAreSuns  |  Last updated 6/30/12
Lakers

Reports are already coming in from varied sources that Steve Nash’s chances of remaining in Phoenix are pessimistic at best. Not a shocker, but still, a dreaded it’s-finally-here moment for Suns fans.

Arizona Republic beat writer Paul Coro’s Friday-night piece pointed out the reality of a Nash departure. The title of the piece was “Steve Nash’s career with the Phoenix Suns nears its end”, though readers should know writers are rarely responsible for the actual headlines to their own articles. Either a copy editor was feeling particularly down, or Coro is pretty certain Nash is a goner.

Eye-catching headline aside, here’s a snatch of Coro’s take:

“The Suns’ interest in retaining Nash does not come at all costs, setting up a possible parting where both sides can shrug and say they tried to stay together. The Suns do not appear willing to meet his wish for a three-year deal, which Toronto and Brooklyn would do. They also are expected to be millions away from the eight-figure annual salaries he will get elsewhere, including with his former team and best buddy Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas. The Mavericks would likely limit an offer to a one-year deal, reserving next year’s space to pursue center Dwight Howard.”

What will truly irk Suns fans is knowing management’s efforts to retain Nash should have come seven years ago, when the team had a core of four All-Stars which they slowly broke apart, one by one. Nash, however, has remained loyal/sentimental throughout the decay of the once-contending Suns. Such a selfless approach could very well see Nash choose Toronto (home country) or Brooklyn (fond of the NY area) despite the fact neither of those teams will be contenders even with him in tow.

The Raptors are especially keen on snagging Nash early, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

“Sources say that the Raptors will have at least five members of the organization waiting in New York this weekend to visit Nash as soon as he’s ready Sunday, with Toronto widely expected to make the richest financial offer Nash receives this offseason to come back to Canada. The offer is likely to approach $12 million annually, sources say.”

So Nash can receive more money and little chance at a title with Toronto. He could also go in the opposite direction and take a severe paycut and a great chance at winning with either Miami (who are reportedly pursuing Ray Allen) or Dallas (though they could offer more money if Deron Williams elects to stay in Brooklyn).

Unfortunately, Phoenix is both unwilling to make an extremely rich offer and unable to offer a chance at a title, the two biggest factors in Nash’s decision.

This time, it appears they will finally outweigh the loyalty that made him stay so long in the first place.

Matt Petersen can be reached at wearesunsblog@gmail.com. You can follow the WeAreSuns on Twitter at @WeAreSuns.

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