Steve Nash Trade Rumors Spread To Wolves, With Ricky Rubio's Future In The Balance

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Steve Nash Trade Sought By Wolves, Who Want Mentor For Ricky Rubio, Says Report

Trade rumors surround Steve Nash, even though the two-time MVP is not available, per the Phoenix Suns. Nash's team is at .500 and chasing a playoff spot, but don't figure to contend for a championship before the point guard's contract ends in 2012; ergo, teams think they can pry Nash away.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are one of those teams, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. The reporter cites a team source that indicates Minnesota would love to pry Nash from the Suns so that he could groom the next great Wolves point guard, Ricky Rubio.

I've likewise heard, despite all the factors listed here that make us question why the Wolves would even bother chasing Nash, they have not offered Rubio to the Suns for a different reason. In the Wolves' Nash fantasy, I'm told, they dream of constructing a multi-team deal that brings Nash to Sota as a mentor for Rubio. 

Rubio, Minnesota's No. 5 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, refused to join the Wolves, instead working out a deal to play for his hometown Barcelona in the Spanish ACB. He has an opt-out following this season, and could exit for the NBA in time for the 2011-12 season; Nash is under contract through 2011-12.

However, if Rubio does enter the NBA this season, he would be forced to sign a rookie-scale contract worth $12.6 million over four seasons. If he waits until 2012-13 to enter the NBA, he would not be bound by the limits of the rookie scale, and could sign a much more lucrative first contract, much as Brazilian forward Tiago Splitter did after being drafted by the Spurs several years ago.

There is also the matter of the potential NBA lockout. Rubio would have to opt out of his Barcelona contract and hope that the NBA worked out its labor issue. If he opted out and the NBA season was canceled, Rubio would be paid $0 by the Wolves. He is making a couple million dollars a year in Barcelona, and would have to pay a buy-out to leave, even after this season. The Wolves could only contribute $500,000 to that buy-out.

In other words, Rubio would have to risk giving up his entire salary in 2011-12 and the difference in what the Wolves would pay him in 2012 and the rookie scale amount. If the Wolves trade considerable assets to land Nash now or this summer without a firm commitment from Rubio, they risk paying for a tutor for Jonny Flynn and not Ricky.

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Steve Nash Trade Rumors Denied By Suns

Steve Nash is not seeking a trade, and the Phoenix Suns are not eager to trade the two-time NBA MVP, according to a report from the Arizona Republic.

Earlier this week, FanHouse's Sam Amick reported that should the Suns fail to make up ground in the Western Conference within the next month, Phoenix will look at trade offers for its superlative point guard. But Paul Coro of the Republic writes that Nash says team president Lon Babby told him earlier this season that the point guard will not be moved this season.

Nash also indicates that he wants to remain in Phoenix, despite a mighty slide from last year's Western Conference Finals appearance.

"I signed up for this," Nash said. "I'm committed to trying to build a team here. Obviously, last year was a phenomenal year. Tied 2-2 (in the conference finals), I thought we could win a championship. I genuinely believed we could and would win it. It's tough to be in this position six months later. I'm still committed to it. I love the guys. I think we've got potential but we've had so much change and haven't been able to put it together. If we want to point fingers, we've got to point some at ourselves and say, 'We haven't put it together.'"

Whether that will change as it becomes more clear that the Suns will miss the playoffs remains to be seen. Phoenix currently sits at No. 11 in the West, 3.5 games behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the No. 8 seed. The Suns are just 2-6 since trading Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu to the Orlando Magic. Phoenix had been 12-13 up to that point.

The New York Knicks are reported to be interested in Nash, despite the emergence of Raymond Felton.

For Suns news and analysis, visit Bright Side Of The Sun and SB Nation Arizona.

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Steve Nash Trade Rumors Begin To Circulate, With Knicks Reportedly Interested

The Phoenix Suns could explore a trade of Steve Nash should the team fail to get back in the playoff race, according to a report by FanHouse's Sam Amick. The New York Knicks are interested should Nash be available despite the presence of Raymond Felton, reported Amick.

The Suns have struggled this season, currently sitting at just 14-18 and three games out of the Western Conference's No. 8 seed. Phoenix surprisingly made the Western Conference Finals last season after beating the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs, but the loss of Amar'e Stoudemire derailed the Suns' 2010-11 campaign.

Seeking a shake-up, the Suns got involved in the Orlando Magic's trade games, eventually sending Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu to central Florida for Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus and Marcin Gortat. The idea was that Hedo fit poorly in Phoenix, and Gortat's defense would be a big boon. It hasn't worked out that way: the Suns are 2-5 since the trade and just 1-4 since Gortat and Pietrus made their debuts. The defense has still been porous, with Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins dropping 28 points on the Suns on Sunday.

Nash has still been fantastic, shooting mighty efficiently and averaging 10.6 assists per game. But outside of Carter and Grant Hill, Nash is the only Sun over the age of 30. The two-time MVP signed a two-year extension with the Suns in July 2009 that pays Nash $22 million through the end of the 2011-12 season.

The Knicks have gotten a near All-Star season out of Felton, but Nash is on a different level. There's also the matter of his (wildly successful) history with Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni and Amar'e Stoudemire.

For more on Nash and the Suns, visit Bright Side Of The Sun and SB Nation Arizona.

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