Thursday , Jul , 01 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Departing Dallas: Nash reportedly signs with Suns

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – According to published reports, the Phoenix
Suns have come to terms with free agent point guard Steve Nash on a multi-year

The reports say that Nash received a five-year, $65 million deal from the Suns
on Thursday. Nash and his agent Bill Duffy then showed the offer to Dallas
owner Mark Cuban, who declined to match.

Cuban, reportedly, was not going to offer Nash anything more than four years.
He was worried the 30-year-old Nash wouldn’t be as effective during the latter
years of the deal.

Although the agreement might be finalized, nothing can be made official until
July 14th, when the salary cap is set for next season. Until then, contracts
can only be reached verbally, as the league is currently in a two-week
moratorium on signings and trades.

Nash, who began his career in Phoenix, averaged 14.5 points and a career-high
8.8 assists last season. He was selected by the Suns 15th overall in the 1996
draft and was later traded to the Mavericks prior to the 1998-99 season for
Martin Muursepp, Bubba Wells, the draft rights to Pat Garrity and a 1999 first
round pick.

The eight-year veteran out of Santa Clara has averaged 12.5 points and 6.1
assists per game during his career. He is expected to provide veteran
leadership and a backcourt presence for a club that already includes
frontcourt stars Amare Stoudamire and Shawn Marion.

Phoenix was reportedly interested in signing Kobe Bryant. However, those
interests have apparently subsided with the inking of Nash.