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Report: Knicks will target Steve Nash next summer

Jan 18, 2012, 12:13 PM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

The Knicks need a point guard. I know it, you know it, anyone who has watched 20 seconds of a Knicks game knows it.

Their front office knows it, too. Getting a quality one this season via trade is unlikely (hence the hope that Baron Davis can be the man), so they are looking at next summer when they can offer their $5 million mid-level exception. And they have some targets lined up, according to the New York Post.

That’s why The Post has reported the Knicks plan to target Nash (along with Jameer Nelson and Raymond Felton) with this summer’s $5 million mid-level exception.

Nash is obviously the big name and you can reunite the once-fun Suns in Madison Square Garden (which kind of happens tonight when the Suns come to town). Now, $5 million a year might be less than Nash and Nelson can make elsewhere, but Nash in particular may be willing to take less to play in New York for Mike D’Antoni. One question for the Knicks is do they want the savvier but much older Nash or a not-as-good but younger and less prone to injury guy like Felton?

But that’s not the big question. Rather, “what kind of team are they trying to build?” is the big one.

They brought in Mike D’Antoni to play his “seven seconds or less” style that was entertaining and won a lot of games in Phoenix, then they proceeded to build a roster that poorly fit that style. Clearly Amar’e Stoudemire can work in it, but the only good point guard New York had was Felton, who was traded to bring in Carmelo Anthony.

Now there are whispers that D’Antoni will be gone when his contract is up after this season. If you do that, what kind of team are you trying to build? Your choice of a point guard needs to reflect that style.

When you build a team style it’s less about the stars and more about getting role players who fit with those stars and system. Kobe Bryant is going to be good whatever the system, but what the Lakers did well for years was finding players who fit well in the triangle offense to go around him. The Suns did the same thing around Nash and Stoudemire in Phoenix. You see it in San Antonio and Oklahoma City — it’s not just a random collection of talent. The Knicks have not followed that model.

The Knicks need a point guard to organize the offense. Any of the three guys mentioned above is a big upgrade. From there, if they stick with D’Antoni, Tyson Chandler works in the paint and on the pick-and-roll, but they need athletic role players who can run the floor like the wind and knock down threes. If they go a different coaching direction then they need to think about what point guard works well, what other role players would fit better. There is a lot of work to do on this roster. But they need a steady direction, first.

  1. seanb20124 - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    He is a bit old I believe.

  2. stayhigh_247 - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Go back and check my posts, i called this the day Stat signed with the Knicks, much respect to Nash for not forcing a trade like the other soap stars in the league. Nash is an NY resident anyway, this is a no brainer, dont b shocked if Grant Hill follows

  3. b7p19 - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Andre Miller?

  4. max20characters - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    In a recent interview, Nash made it clear that he will NOT leave the Suns… Ever…

  5. eureca323 - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Will the Knicks for sure have the 5 mil MLE? They are at around 57 mil for 6 players if they pick up Tony Douglas’ option its 59 for 7 players. Then theres cap holds for the other 6 mandatory spots to get you to 13. I believe under the rules your 5 million MLE must fit under all that with the cap holds so that it doesnt go a dollar over the Luxury tax. If they have any 1st rounders then that takes up more space.

    They might be able to sneak it in but might be close. I know the Heat only could use the 3 mil mini MLE because with all the cap holds the 5 million MLE would have put them over the Luxury tax. Not sure if the Knicks will be in the same situation.

    As for Nash on the Knicks. Obviously it makes perfect sense. Playing with Amare again in Mike Dantoni’s system. If they do get him. Knicks need to find more shooters because Nash would be able to find them open but they still need to be able to hit the shot. Nash should be able to make Carmelo’s life easier as well. Well if he allows him to.

    I’ve thought Nash would go there for a while now it just makes too much perfect sense.

    • makjak2 - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      The MLE can be used if a team is over the cap. Hence the word exception.

      • eureca323 - Jan 18, 2012 at 4:24 PM

        That isnt true in the new CBA. There are two MLE’s now. 1 for teams over the cap but where the MLE wont put them into the luxury tax which is the full 5 mil for up to 4 years. Then if it does put you into the Luxury tax then its 3 mil up to 3 years same if you are already over the luxury tax. So if the Knicks with their roster cap holds and any other holds if the MLE puts them over the luxury tax then they can only use the 3 mil MLE like the Heat did this off season since it put them over the luxury tax.

  6. newyorkstatus - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    makes sense when your a team in need of being competitive in the east, however we not talking championships at all, not even to close to start talking.

  7. goforthanddie - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    He could sign elsewhere and lose for more than 5mil. Or he could go somewhere and have a chance to win.

  8. rohlo - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    LAME FOR THE KNICKS!!! what this phoenix east??? last time i checked d’antoni didnt win jack in phoenix!! i would be pissed if i were a knick fan!!! going after guys colelcting social security checks!!! that being said i have always respected nash’s game but he isnt gonna put the knicks over the top at this point in his career!!

    • jlyer - Jan 18, 2012 at 8:06 PM

      I certainly would.

      • jlyer - Jan 18, 2012 at 8:06 PM

        I meant that for the comment below obviously

  9. kinggw - Jan 18, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Knick fans must be ecstatic that they are targeting a soon to be 38 year old point guard like its going to change their fortunes. I wonder how many Knick fans would take the pre-Melo team compared to the one they have now if they had a choice.

    • goforthanddie - Jan 18, 2012 at 6:39 PM

      You have to admit, Nash is definitely an improvement over what they have now.

  10. keeroc15 - Jan 18, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Might as well go. Sarver has completely destroyed his own team. At least the Suns used to be competetive in the West. The only way to sell seats for the Suns now will be if they can sign Tim Tebow.

  11. beagle11 - Jan 18, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Steve Nash is leading the league in assists passing to guys named Frye and Dudley. Please elaborate on how he is done?

  12. dysraw1 - Jan 19, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    love Steve Nash beautiful person, fantastic player this league is rich with point guards so why dont the knicks have one in place. you mean to tell that management could not pass getting T. Chandler

    • dysraw1 - Jan 19, 2012 at 12:23 AM

      meant could not see pass getting Tyson

  13. vicktator - Jan 19, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Just what the Knicks need, a defensive stopper.

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