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Chris Weber Chants " Free Steve Nash."

tyrekeevans
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Chris Weber Chants " Free Steve Nash."

NBA TV's weekly Fan Night broadcast got stuck with something of a clunker on Tuesday, as a matchup between the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns didn't quite turn out to be the entertaining, 48-minute sustained sprint the voting public envisioned. (On the plus side, though, the network didn't get the worst clunker of the night. Always a silver lining.)

Rather than a hotly contested rematch of the 138-133 barn-burner the two teams staged on Nov. 28, 2010, this faceoff between two high-octane, star-powered offenses was basically over by halftime, when the Nuggets held a 66-55 lead after posting a 44-point second stanza. It was completely over by the start of the fourth quarter, when Denver found itself up 30 after outscoring the Suns 38-17 in the third. Star Phoenix point guard Steve Nash(notes) came out of the game for good with 2:44 left in that blowout third frame, his 15 points and seven assists having done little to staunch the bleeding.

After discussing the Suns' putrid defensive effort with NBA TV studio cohorts Rick Kamla and Kevin McHale, analyst Chris Webber argued that the 36-year-old Nash, a two-time league MVP who has grown increasingly frustrated with the Suns' poor play but has not publicly demanded a trade out of Phoenix, deserves better. Namely, an exit from the desert:

"I'm getting a 'Free Nash' T-shirt. You know how when people go to jail, you get a 'Free Tyson' T-shirt? A 'Free Nash' T-shirt, because I want him out of Phoenix. He has 15 points, seven assists — he cannot do any more than what he's doing. He's a hard worker, he plays hard. Free Steve Nash."

And then, Webber repeated himself. "Free Steve Nash. Free Steve Nash." Then Kamla, NBA TV's studio host, joined in. It sounded like one of them started banging his hand on the desk. "Free Steve Nash. Free Steve Nash."

International readers ("Int'l read'rs"): If the clip above isn't rocking for you, please feel free to peruse the chanting courtesy of tensor17.

The odd chant ended as quickly as it began, with laughter, McHale clarifying for any eventual angry letter-writers in the greater Phoenix area that he wasn't taking part in the chanting, and Kamla tossing it back to the on-site announcers at the Pepsi Center. End scene.

Webber isn't the only one who feels this way. (I'm going to choose to separate Webber and Kamla for the moment, because it feels far more likely that Kamla just kind of wanted to join in a fun chant.) "Free Steve Nash" is a pretty popular sentiment among NBA followers — no one wants to see such a singular talent, a team-first winner whose career-long contributions to the game have been so focused on unselfishness, joy, whimsy, speed and entertainment, spend the waning period of his NBA tenure languishing on a going-nowhere team that gives up 100 points through three quarters. Except fans in Phoenix, maybe, and it's hard to fault them for that — when you love someone, the prospect of letting him or her go, even if parting might ultimately be the best move for both of you, is daunting.

Unfortunately, the primary fan motivation for seeing Nash moved out of Phoenix — letting him return to the heat of the playoff chase and finish his career on a title contender — seems to clash with the reality of most contenders' situations right now.

The Miami Heat don't seem to have anywhere near the assets you'd assume the Suns would want in exchange for the face of their franchise. The Los Angeles Lakers' vaunted Triangle offense would seem like a poor fit for Nash's ball-dominating style. The Orlando Magic have already made their big moves. The Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls are all pretty set at the one, as are the Utah Jazz. And while reuniting Nash with Dirk Nowitzki(notes) would probably make Dallas Mavericks fans swoon, that seems like an unlikely destination.

One interesting landing spot would be the Oklahoma City Thunder, as the excellent Tom Haberstroh noted in a recent ESPN Insider piece — the thought of moving the explosive Russell Westbrook(notes) off the ball, which would allow Nash to orchestrate for Kevin Durant(notes) and wreak havoc with Serge Ibaka(notes), is pretty enticing. But given Sam Presti's stated preference for allowing his young Thunder to grow organically and improve from within, sending a wealth of assets west doesn't seem to fit with the organization's M.O., making it hard to see any clear match among squads with legitimate present and near-future title aspirations.

Whether Nash stays in Phoenix or gets shipped out to new pastures, whether green or not, one thing is certain: Seeing Chris Webber compare Nash to a dude in prison, then chant for him to be freed, was pretty weird.


llperez
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if im the suns, i simply ask

if im the suns, i simply ask nash if he wants out. If he does then i do whatever i can to trade him out of respect for him and the fact the team needs to rebuild. However, im not sure nash wants to leave. I thought i read not long ago that nash wants to retire in phoenix where he started his career.

BKKnicksfan
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How many teams could afford

How many teams could afford Nash and win a title this year? I feel noone could really win a title with him at this point besides Orlando.

NashyMing
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Actually Orlando Magic can

Actually Orlando Magic can certainly use an upgrade at PG. He is a significant upgrade over Nelson. It is probably the best fit for Nash as they have a great big man in Howard and Nash is a deadly shooter. The Magic does not have much to give up for Nash though.

Thunder is also a good fit as Westbrook can certainly learn a lot from playing with Nash. As good as Westbrook already is, he still needs to get better at running a team. The Thunder has accumulated a lot of young players and picks and they can come up with a reasonable package to acquire Nash. Although the tradition of the team is to build from within, getting a good veteran leader in Nash can help all the youngsters to improve and immediately put them into contender status. As long as the Thunder does not need to give up too much. Getting Nash would be a great move.

joecheck88
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i thought atlanta would be

i thought atlanta would be interesting for nash to end up. someone mentioned a swap of marvin williams, mo evans and a draft pick(or 2) for nash. i dont know how much better it makes them but they would be a scary team. dont know if that is enough for phoenix tho. it would be cool if atlanata could pry robin lopez away too because they could use some active size.

mess.eee
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I think Steve Nash can

I think Steve Nash can elevate the Hawks to the next level if he is traded to that team. With their wing players and their Frontcourt's ability to run up and down, I think Nash would make them so much better, specially Josh Smith. And the Hawks have the young pieces and players to pull off such trade.

ZEO
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Yeah

I dont think he should but i made a trade come and look at it

JJeff6
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The suns would obviously need

The suns would obviously need a point gaurd in return for Nash. Dragic is his backup but behind him is noone. Maybe a Bibby, Mo Evans, and a pick?

mess.eee
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^^^

Perhaps the Hawks would even include Jeff Teague if a deal is to happen. Basically the Suns will never get an equal value in return, Nash is one of the Greatest, but the Suns need to move forward and keep getting good young players.

makeitrain21
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just tryin

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4vz5yt8

i dont know how you guys will like this and dont be afraid to be critical.

SubZero
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Dang if the Suns got Marvin

Dang if the Suns got Marvin Williams and Mo Evans, they would have what, 6 SFs? Dudley, Childress, Williams, Evans, Hill, and Pietrus is a little more than they need

Counting Stars
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I think Grant Hill deserves

I think Grant Hill deserves to get traded with Nash.

BigD
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I'm sure they have both come

I'm sure they have both come out and said they don't want to get traded.

Ghost01
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Dont leave Miami out of the

Dont leave Miami out of the "Contenders that would be extremely happy with acquiring Nash". Ofcourse, if Mike Miller, Joel Anthony, and Picks arent enough, a 3rd team would be needed.

The8thDeadlySin
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Bad trade but it is fun to do

Bad trade but it is fun to do when you are board.. Explodes the Suns roster and gets them some nice young players... And, I dont think the win thing is correct...

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4mh6vuz

bkb77
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If Raymond Felton wasnt

If Raymond Felton wasnt playing at an all-star level & lights out then I would say the Knicks would be the perfect fit W D'Antoni & Amare but I dont see that trade haapening now.

stifler101
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Hawks

Ever since the Suns made their trade with Orlando, I've thought that the Hawks are best place for Steve Nash, and they can do it:

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4zojaps

Sprinkle in some draft picks from Atlanta as well, and Phoenix has a former #2 pick overall, two young guards who can run and score, and they can begin their rebuilding process. I'm sure the Suns would want to unload Josh Childress in a Nash trade, too, but unfortunately for them the Hawks are the only team in the league that they can't trade him to this season (because of the way they acquired him from Atlanta in the offseason).

BigD
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Atlanta wouldn't work for

Atlanta wouldn't work for Phoenix as Atlanta has no bigs to offer them. Phoenix is already overloaded with guards. I honestly think they'll both play out their careers in Phoenix. They both deserve a chance to win a ring but i think they're happy in Phoenix.

bigblackNbeautiful
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If ATL could pull off a trade like this

Not saying it will. But where in the east would they rank.

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4uf6ljy

Nash-Teague

Johnson-Jamal Crawford

Hill- Evans-Sy

Smith-Powel

Horford-Zaza-Thomas

Nash is a upgrade over bibby. Williams athleticism would be missed. but hill is a excellent shooter and defender. I think they could compete with chi and orl. not quite mia or bos though.

BigD
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So Phoenix would look like

So Phoenix would look like this

Mike Bibby/Goran Dragic

Vince Carter/Jordan Crawford

Jared Dudley/Marvin Williams/Josh Childress/Mickael Pietrus

Channing Frye/Hakim Warrick

Robin Lopez/Marcin Gortat

They are already very guard heavy and this doesn't help them rebuild they'd still have 5 guards/forwards that deserve at least 24min a game. And would PHX be willing to take on a 2yr Mike Bibby deal? or a 4yr Marvin Williams. As much as the trade looks good for Atlanta i can't see PHX saying yes to that. Switch Mike Bibby for Jeff Teague and put another player in for Marvin Williams and i could see PHX considering it, but still unlikely.

mamadou
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.

FREE....THROW....NASH.

First.

Guys, nashtastic just passed mark price as the best FT shooter...ever, with something like 47 in a row...

Hall of famer and best shooter ever.

I want him to the hawks or rockets, not much to give for the hawks(unthinkable to get the atrocious contract of marvin williams to match the salaries).

On the rockets side, a gortat(they coveted)-nash combo for yao-brooks-Twill, maybe another sun, another rocket, a pick on one side or on other(right to switch at least), both teams got 3 first rounders, the next 2 drafts.

Starting the rebuilding for the suns, a back court, then waiting the big mens...the true big mens, the two starters, legit starters.

Lowry would be a good defensive minded back up, nash would help the youngsters(lee-budinger-hill-patterson to mature), bring the ball at the right time, the right spot for K-mart and scola.

It'll be soon too late to reach the PO, hurry up Morey...

Hitster
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When Phoenix did the big

When Phoenix did the big recent trade with Orlando following on from the Washington and Orlando trade then if Nash had been on the block he could have been moved then. Also Nash could have turned down his extension in 2009 and Phoenix would have probably had to exercise their team option on him for 2009-10 or trade him, Nash could have moved on if he had wished.

Nash is out of contract next summer and as a Phoenix fan I don't want to see him moving on but he turns 37 yeasrs old next month and if we could get a nice deal for him then there may be a case for dealing him on. Nash can also easily serve out his Phoenix contract and then have another year or two on a contender if he wants to.

If OKC could give us some picks back then a deal could be done but I'd really like Ibaka to be included to give Phoenix a potentially top rebounder.

McDunkin
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I just wanna see Steve be

I just wanna see Steve be able to flex his pg muscle again like the good ol days.

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