Mar. 16, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash during game against the Detroit Pistons at the US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Pistons 109-101. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

New York Knicks Emerge as Front-Runners to Land Steve Nash

The Knicks, still hot on the trail of Steve Nash, have reportedly emerged as front-runners to land Nash in a sign-and-trade. Adrian Wojnarowski, the perpetual fly in the room, broke the details:

Knicks, Suns are in the critical stages of discussions on a sign-and-trade deal that would pay Nash $27M-$30M over 3 years,

sources tell Y!

Wojnarowski also mentioned that the trade will likely include Iman Shumpert, Toney Douglas, and three other cheap players. Dan Gadzuric, Marc Berman noted, will be included in all trades because of his $1.4 million non-guaranteed salary, which was a tactic Glen Grunwald purposely played.

For Knicks fans, the trade is sure to bring about mixed feelings. Iman Shumpert represents the ’90s Knicks teams the fans so adored with his gritty defense and constant effort. Likewise, he’s got All-Star potential with nearly unparalleled athleticism, already-elite defense, and the ability to knock down shots off catch-and-shoot opportunities (though he still must become more consistent in the latter category). When the Knicks’ Big Three reaches the end of their respective primes (and contracts), Shumpert could be a useful building block going forward.

With Landry Fields likely going to Toronto, and J.R. Smith still a free agent, the Knicks two-guard rotation would be nearly decimated. However, if the Knicks did trade Shumpert, it’s possible that the Knicks would entertain matching Toronto’s offer sheet as to keep some depth at the shooting guard.

Not to mention Steve Nash has a chronic back issue that has been appeased by the leagues indisputable best training staff in Phoenix. I have my doubts about the Knicks’ training staff; see: Davis, Baron, 2011-12.

However, the idea of acquiring Steve Nash has to be appealing to everyone, regardless of their stance on Shumpert. Nash is an all-time great point guard, whose numbers last season paralleled the numbers he put up in his two MVP seasons in Phoenix. With great finishers in Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire (he and Nash were preeettty great together in Phoenix, in case you didn’t know), and a guy like Steve Novak to space the floor, the Knicks offense could be deadly with Nash at the helm. His guidance for the future of Jeremy Lin would be immensely helpful.

Undoubtedly, the trade would put the Knicks in official “win now” mode.

The details are still being hammered out, but this is a big story that’s currently in the process of being broken.

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Tags: Amare Stoudemire Iman Shumpert J.R. Smith Jeremy Lin Landry Fields NBA Free Agency 2012 New York Knicks Steve Nash Toronto Raptors Tyson Chandler

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