From the day Bryan Colangelo set foot in Toronto as G.M, the idea or dream that he could bring Steve Nash home to Canada was alive and well. Just when you probably thought the idea was dead there is one last chance to bring Steve Nash home. If Canada Basketball can do it, why not Bryan Colangelo too? You have to figure where Steve Nash decides to go will be the end of the line for him in terms of his career. The problem starts when you understand why Steve is leaving Phoenix in the whole first place. It is to have one final run at a championship right? That isn't exactly the Raptors future in the next three years is it? Can Bryan Colangelo convince Steve Nash otherwise? He did convince him to leave Dallas and comeback to the team that originally drafted him in the Suns. It was not like the Suns were looking like a playoff contender at the time. In case you forget the Suns were 29-53 and looked nothing like a team that would turn into 62-20 team the next year with Steve Nash as part of the mix. Mike D'Antoni who took over during the season before Nash arrived was only 21-40. That all said Steve Nash had time to wait if things had not made such a dramatic turnaround.
It is also not like Steve Nash thinks like everyone else does in many ways. It seems hard to imagine that Nash would take the easy route to a title and take his talents to South Beach. Although he did say he would consider it in an interview late in the season. He said at his press conference where he was named G.M of Canada Basketball that he would consider all situations that were presented to him. Does the idea of coming back home to Canada appeal to Steve Nash? He has said in the past it does. Also former Raptor, Nash team mate with the Suns and soon to be fellow free-agent Leandro Barbosa said that Nash has said to him he would like to end his career as a Raptor. Colangelo said even when trading Barbosa to the Pacers the Raptors would consider bringing him back. As we learned earlier this year the Raptors had a chance to bring Nash to Toronto long before Bryan Colangelo ever appeared in Toronto.
Still Steve Nash is starting to show signs of his age and this whole idea seemed much more appealing a few years ago than it might today. You would also want to have a point guard of the future for Nash to mentor behind him. Although with Nash's injury issues and not being able to play the same amount of minutes he has in the past a raw rookie back-up might not be great. Jose Calderon if he was willing would be an excellent and perhaps over qualified number two behind him if he were to remain. Calderon in a contract year despite being the team guy that he has always been labeled may not embrace this idea to much. If he did stay the Raptors point guard play would rank among the best in the league. You could also move Calderon and find that point guard of the future. Still the Raptors would be wasting an opportunity not having a point guard of the future as part of the mix if Nash was here.
If Colangelo is going to bring in Nash you would need to address some things with this roster beyond that in order for Nash to really be successful. Which makes the idea of Jose as his back-up seem unlike at best given he is set to make over 10 million next season. Nash is going to get paid a rather larger amount one would figure even at his advanced age. What the Raptors truly lack for Steve Nash to be successful here is three point shooting. You could likely bring back Barbosa and that would give you one shooter but you would likely need another. That likely has to come at the small forward position. If your starting line-up is going to be Nash, DeRozan, Bargnani and Jonas you need a second option to shoot the three beyond Bargnani you would think. Whatever the case, the Raptors would need more than just Nash to make a dramatic turn around. That team that Nash joined in Phoenix already had a lot of talent in place with guys like Stoudamire, Marion, Joe Johnson and Barbosa. Does a group of Bargnani, DeRozan, and Jonas along with a draft pick to come offer enough? It is up for debate and Steve Nash is not that same guy that walked into Phoenix and ended up winning two MVP awards.
Nash has never been known as a defender in his time in the NBA. Dwane Casey is all about playing defense. That said in his later years with the Suns the focus had changed to a more defensively responsible team. In addition if Casey found a way to hide Jose Calderon on defense in his scheme, he can find a way to hide Steve Nash.
There is a part of you as a Canadian that can't help but want to believe this is possible. Unlike the Raptors signing of Jaamal Magloire, this is a Canadian that would fill seats at the ACC. Steve Nash instantly makes the Raptors more relevant just by showing up and putting on a Raptors number 13 jersey. The same things that make him viable to run Team Canada, are the same things that would work in terms of marketing side of the Raptors. There is no question that MLSE in it's new form with both TSN/Bell and Sportsnet/Rogers would love to have Canada's greatest basketball player in their organization. It will mean a huge jump in ratings for the Raptors potentially and it should establish them truly as this national brand that they have tried to be since the Grizzlies left for Memphis. In terms of non-basketball related things this is a slam dunk in terms or marketing, merchandising and ratings.
There is also the fact that Colangelo's job is on the line. That plays a factor in this for him obviously. If there is one thing we have learned about Bryan Colangelo in his time here, it is that if he likes a player that seldom changes. We have seen many former Suns end up Raptors and his extreme loyalty to his number on pick in Andrea Bargnani. Once Colangelo likes a player, it seems to stick in his mind. The irony in all of this is the last time this happened in Phoenix it was Mark Cuban that questioned how much Steve Nash ultimately had left. Two MVP trophies later the answer was clear he had a lot left. These days it would be more than Mark Cuban that would question how much Nash has left. Deron Williams is the guy that the big name teams will be chasing with Cuban at the front of that line.
The major concern is when things go away for a point guard it tends to be a fast and painful process. Still is the chance to create something truly special to hard for everyone to pass on including Nash? I guess will find out eventually. The one thing that is true be it a good move or a bad one, if Steve Nash is coming to Toronto, the Raptors will have more attention than they have had since the days of Vince Carter. I fight with if this is a good idea or not basketball wise. It is hard to be objective about Steve Nash. It is also hard to go down this road again on if he will come here or not. The one thing that is good is this is last time we will regardless of how it turns out. While I believe Steve Nash can truly save Canada Basketball in many ways. I have a harder time with him as a player saving the Raptors as well. Colangelo has made worse gambles in his time here than betting on Steve Nash. I just wonder if this was a move that would have worked better when Jay Triano was coaching and Chris Bosh was still around than it does now.