Nash signs extension

Two-time MVP Steve Nash has agreed to a two-year extension with the Phoenix Suns.

After receiving an improved offer last week and taking a few more days to deliberate, two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash notified the Phoenix Suns over the weekend that he is accepting their two-year extension offer worth an estimated $22 million, according to team sources.

The Suns offered Nash a two-year, $20 million extension two weeks ago in addition to the $13.1 million he’s owed next season, then bumped it higher in a meeting in Las Vegas last Wednesday attended by Suns owner Robert Sarver, president of basketball operations Steve Kerr and Nash’s agent Bill Duffy.

When the Suns traded away Shaquille O’Neal, it seemed to indicate that the franchise was ready to start the rebuilding process. But with this extension, GM Steve Kerr appears to be building around Nash and, for the time being at least, Amare Stoudemire. I’m not sure what Kerr’s long-term plan is, and I’m not confident that even he knows.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

2009 NBA Free Agency Preview: The top unrestricted free agents

Once the draft is over, the next step of the NBA offseason is the free agency period. Negotiations start July 1, but players have to wait until July 8 to actually sign on the dotted line. Due to the economy, this promises to be an interesting summer, as more franchises seem to be trying to cut payroll than add talent. There are eight teams with significant cap space this summer, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll be willing to use it. Teams that are over the cap can add good players in two ways: 1) they can sign a player to the Mid-Level Exception (MLE), which will be around $5.8 million per season (and can be split up between two or more players), or 2) they can work out a sign-and-trade with the player’s old team.

Below is a list of the top unrestricted free agents this summer. These are players who can sign with whomever they like. They’re ranked in order of total value, which is based on overall talent, age, injury history and cost.

For each player, I’ll provide his position, age, Player Efficiency Rating (PER) and an estimate of what kind of contract he’s likely to sign.

1. Carlos Boozer, PF (27 years-old)
PER: 17.28
At press time, Boozer hasn’t officially opted out, but he is expected to. He can play another year for $12.3 million, but he thinks he’s due for a raise, and I don’t think he’s going to get the kind of raise he’s expecting. Boozer is one of the top 20 players in the league when healthy, but it’s that whole “when healthy” part that’s the problem. Over the past five seasons, he has missed a third of his team’s games. At 27, he’s in his prime, and assuming he has the right supporting cast, I think he can be one of a twosome or threesome on a championship-caliber team. Boozer may not get a raise this summer, but he could get long-term security. The Pistons, Raptors, Kings and Thunder all have the space to make a run at him, but Sacramento and OKC might consider themselves too far away from contending to add a big piece like Boozer. The Pistons seem like the best fit, but they are rumored to have more interest in Ben Gordon. There’s always the possibility that another team works out a sign-and-trade with Utah, but I don’t think anyone is going to give him a max deal, not in this economy.
Value: $12.0 – $13.0 million per year

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Posts