Since the beginning of the NBA season, all eyes have been on Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard and the league-wide Mar. 15 trade deadline. As that deadline approaches, however, more NBA stars’ names have surfaced in trade talks. Howard might not be the only star heading to a new city.
Former two-time MVP Steve Nash has entered the rumor mill, much like he has the past few seasons. The aging star, now 38 and with one year left on his contract, is still putting up solid numbers, leading the league in assists and getting a well-deserved All-Star nod. Though his Phoenix Suns are struggling for wins this season, Nash’s stats are almost on par with those of his MVP seasons. And, in a league where point guards are becoming increasingly valued, Nash’s skills and experience interest many a ball club.
[pullquote]”I’m a Phoenix Sun, I want to finish the season with the Phoenix Suns. I want to see how good we can be and fight for my teammates and fight for my fans.” — Steve Nash[/pullquote]
Phoenix, however, has stated they won’t trade Nash unless he asks for it — and that possibility appears unlikely.
“There’s no uncertainty about my future for me,” Nash said. “I’m a Phoenix Sun, I want to finish the season with the Phoenix Suns. I want to see how good we can be and fight for my teammates and fight for my fans.”
Another high-profile player on the trading block has said he wants Nash on his team — and that’s the aforementioned Howard.
“Dwight Howard has asked the front office to pursue Nash and sources close to Howard believe he won’t exercise his early termination option if the team is able to acquire Nash and re-sign him this summer,” reported NBA writer Alex Kennedy.
For Howard, finishing off the final year of his contract in Orlando could be better than jumping ship now. After next season, the NBA’s free agent market features more big-name stars like Chris Paul and Monta Ellis. This could increase the possibility of Howard teaming up with another All-Star. If Howard decides to skip town this season, he might go New Jersey or Los Angeles — two teams he’s expressed interest in joining.
Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is another player mentioned in trade rumors. It was reported that Rondo and coach Doc Rivers were not getting along. Team President Danny Ainge refuted this rumor, however, saying the Celtics were not actively shopping the All-Star point guard.
These talks and others all seem to be up in the air — at least until Mar. 15. For fans, the only thing left to do is sit back and wait.