Sunday , Dec , 02 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Steve Nash To Play For Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Or San Antonio Spurs In 2011?

“I’d have no problem going back and playing for a team in Texas, even the Mavericks! It’s not as though there was some irreconcilable divorce with Dallas, it was just best for me to move on at that time.” -Steve Nash, November 30th, 2007 …

Professional sports are big business and smart athletes avoid burning bridges. Steve Nash understands this concept, but his recent comments about playing for the Dallas Mavericks once his contract expires with Phoenix is still surprising.

"I’d have no problem going back and playing for a team in Texas, even the Mavericks! It’s not as though there was some irreconcilable divorce with Dallas, it was just best for me to move on at that time." (Times On-line, November 30, 2007)

Time must heal all wounds. After all, Nash and Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban have been taking sly digs at each other through the media since parting ways in early July, 2004.

During the 2006 NBA Finals, Cuban appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman. The renegade owner still hadn’t forgiven his former friend for leaving.

"Steve is a great guy. And I love him to death. But why couldn’t he play like an MVP for us? All is well that ends well. We went out and got some great guys. Jason Terry took his place."

But Nash hasn’t taken the high road. Last July, three years after leaving Dallas, he told a Vancouver reporter that Cuban couldn’t "help himself" when dealing with media.

So Nash putting a business spin on his departure from Dallas is odd. Still, we decided to analyze his chances of playing in Texas once his contract expires following the 2010-2011 season.

Dallas Mavericks

  • Why: Nash spent six productive seasons with the Mavericks. In Dallas, he became an All-Star and helped change the culture of the organization. The two-time MVP also considers Dirk Nowitzki his best friend.
  • Why Not: Nash and Cuban still appear to have beef. Dallas is now a defensive squad and Nash thrives in a free-wheeling, up-tempo system.

Houston Rockets

  • Why: They’ll have the cap space to ink Nash to a contract. The all-world table-setter is tight with Rockets’ center Yao Ming.
  • Why Not:  Houston will have room to sign Nash, but nobody else-other than rookie Aaron Brooks-is under contract. That’s the downside of Houston’s new money-ball system.

San Antonio Spurs

  • Why: San Antonio is always in the hunt for an NBA Title. Tim Duncan is the only player under contract for the 2011-2012 season, so they’ll also have cap room to sign Nash.
  • Why Not: In three years, the Spurs will likely be Tony Parker’s team. Could Nash and Mr. Eva Longario split minutes? The Frenchman didn’t appreciate Popovich trying to sign point guard Jason Kidd in 2003.

Bottom Line: One concern has to be Nash’s health.  He’ll be 37 when his deal ends with the Suns ends, so health could be an issue.  Also, will he  take a reduced salary or still ask for top dollars?

Nash probably stays in Phoenix. Robert Sarver, the Suns’ eccentric owner, loves him. And Nash’s comments were simply an attempt to ensure a market exists when his current contract expires.  Still, it’s fun to speculate.

Where will Nash play in 2011: Dallas, Houston, San Antonio or Phoenix? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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