Posted by: David J. Smith on May 14th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
After laying out the reasons why Steve Nash might possibly consider the Utah Jazz as a free agent destination, here are some of the potential effects bringing the All-Star, All-NBA, All-World point guard to Utah.
And again, the disclaimer: I am under no illusions here. I understand that the likelihood is not the greatest, but in the NBA, stranger things have happened:
- Steve Nash is the epitome of a true leader, the proverbial “makes every guy around him better” player. Think of the lengthy list of those who have never been better before or after their time with Nash (not to say they have not enjoyed success elsewhere): Amar’e Stoudamire, Shawn Marion, Quentin Richardson, Boris Diaw, Raja Bell, Marcin Gortat, Shannon Brown, Leandro Barbosa. He would make everyone on the Jazz roster better.
- In that vein, think of the way one of the game’s best playmakers could accelerate the growth, learning, and experience of our young core four. Derrick Favors would be devastating in the a pick-and-roll tandem with Nash. Likewise, Enes Kanter’s pick-and-pop could emerge with a proper set-up man. Gordon Hayward would get an offensive boost, as he is often the main facilitator when he’s on the court (given Devin Harris’ sometimes limited passing abilities). Having another passer–let alone one of Nash’s caliber–would free him up. And how could a shooter/slasher like Alec Burks not grin at the very notion of filling the lanes with Nash leading the charge?
- The veterans also would naturally benefit from his presence. Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap would get better shots, with less forced, one-on-one moves. Jefferson would need to move quicker with the ball (something that should occur no matter what).
- Nash is one of the best clutch players, as evidenced by his game-winner in ESA this season. He knows how to make the plays down the stretch. He knows when the pass and he knows when to shoot. Seeing as the Jazz lost several games in the fourth quarter, having a quarterback who is always calm and collected can help the young team learn even better how to win the close ones.
- Anyone who says there are not superstar calls in the NBA is probably kidding themselves. And Nash is, even at the age of 38, still a superstar.
- Beyond his exceptional passing skills, Nash is one of the best shooters of all time. He shot a career-high 53.2% from the field, while nailing 39.0% from downtown. He has shot 50% or better in seven of the past eight seasons in Phoenix. And that 39.0% constitutes the second-lowest 3-point mark for his career (has eclipsed the 40% mark in 13 of his 16 seasons). On a team that struggles with perimeter marksmanship, his shooting would open things up down low for the bigs.
- Did I mention Nash’s 89.4% free throw shooting? Well, let me mention that. Oh, he also has shot 90% or better in seven campaigns.
- The age is certainly a factor and the Jazz would need to be prepared with the next step. Having a young protege who could learn up the tutelage of one of the NBA’s elite would allow him to grow on the job, still getting substantial time (“meaningful minutes”) seeing as Nash would be limited to 28-30 minutes a night. (cue us regaining the Golden State pick when the Draft Lottery occurs on 05.30).
- Jerry Sloan always credited Derek Fisher’s one-year in Utah as something that helped our team grow immensely. Just imagine if Steve Nash were to be here, even for two or three seasons. His work ethic, his preparation, his excellence as a true teammate would permeate.
- He is still durable, only missing four games this past season.
- He would be a coach on the court, an extension of Tyrone Corbin.
I suppose I could go on, but we’ll keep it at that for now. There are also many reasons why Nash would pass on signing with Utah, but in these two posts, you can see that there are some things that would make Utah and Steve Nash very good for each other.
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