A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Why the Dallas Mavericks should offer a max contract or near it to Steve Nash

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Steve Nash

Steve Nash (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Right now the frontrunner to sign Steve Nash appears to be the Toronto Raptors. It’s a nice story, he gets to go back to Canada and improve the popularity of the sport there and they’re apparently lining up future management options for him if he does (think Larry Bird and the Pacers). They’re also offering a lot of money – 3 years, 36 million for 12 million a year. Nash has been up front that the money does matter. A player’s last big contract is a relevant thing for them. It’s the last score for what have left when they retire.

I’m of the opinion that the Dallas Mavericks should go up to max money if that’s what it takes to sign Nash – and they should fold their cards on their Deron Williams chances now. Here’s why:

Having a superstar like Dirk Nowitzki is a once or twice in a lifetime opportunity for a franchise. He’s a top 15-20 player of all time. He’s proven you can win a title and make the Finals on his back and is one of the most terrifyingly clutch playoff performers in the league. The Mavericks took a big risk last summer by blowing up their 2011 title team by letting Tyson Chandler walk in free agency and letting JJ Barea go, choosing to horde their capspace for the Deron Williams-Dwight Howard summer – this leading to a middling season and 1st round sweep. It was sacrificing a chance at a title for the future. At the time it may have been a good gamble, but the trick to playing cards is knowing when to walk away. The tea leaves are there for Deron to resign in Brooklyn and Dwight is no longer on the market. If Dallas loses out on both Williams and Nash they will be the dog with two bones. They will have had a bone in their mouth, walked to the river to see their reflection and a bone in the water, then when they opened their mouth to grab their 2nd bone, they ended up with none. This would effectively be the end of the Dirk Nowitzki title window, no matter how much cap-space they have left this summer.

They have to realize the difference between signing Deron and signing Nash isn’t worth that risk. If they sign Nash, they have a terrific shot at the NBA title the next 2-3 years. Nash and Dirk is an insane offensive fit and pick and roll/pick and pop combo. Shawn Marion has proven he can fit beautifully with Nash. Vince Carter proved he had some value last year and he and Nash had played together recently. Brendan Haywood is a good defensive center, though they could also amnesty him to clear up a good amount of capspace to fill out the roster with. This would be a legitimate contender. Furthermore Dallas has proven that they’re a great fit to take down Oklahoma City and Miami (clearly the two most dangerous threats the next handful of years) when their shooting and skill spaces the floor enough that the bite of the Heat and Thunder’s athleticism and defense is taken off, because of how the athletes have to chase around shooters. They can go toe to toe with Nash, Dirk, Marion and plenty of ring chasing help.

This signing would be an incredible moment for the Mavericks history for Nash and Dirk to finally be reunited after 8 years to chase down a 2nd or 3rd title for the Mavericks. It’d be a gift back from Cuban to the Mavericks fans after making their title defense year so unmemorable. Win or lose, they gave it a shot and it’d be the icing on the cake for a terrific 15 year Mavericks fan run. It’s a no brainer for Dallas. Not everyone can be the 2012 Miami Heat, but settling for the 2012 Boston Celtics or 2012 San Antonio Spurs is nothing to spit at whatsoever. That’s why I think no price is too high for Nash. 15 million a year? Max money? I’d give it to him. It’s worth it to pay him the extra 3 or 4 million to make it a contract he can’t refuse – Would they really get more value out of trying to spend 16 million in capspace on non star free agents, than Nash? I don’t think so. They can afford to gauge themselves for Nash. He is still a superstar in impact and would be worth more to the Mavericks than anyone else because of how short their window is and because they’re already playing with house money after the 2011 title.

I could still see Nash choosing Toronto for the sake of improving popularity of basketball in Canada and the novelty factor. However if what it costs to bring Nash to Dallas is a 16 million+ a year max contract instead of the 12 million Toronto can offered and Cuban says no because of the dollars or because he still believes he can sign Deron, I think he’s making a huge mistake for the 2nd time in the last calendar year. Nash to Dallas is a no brainer for the Mavericks no matter what the cost is and would be a way to justify the c0st he made blowing up the title team last summer.

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Written by jr.

July 1, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Posted in Basketball

Tagged with ,

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