Once upon a time, Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki played together for the Mavericks. Along with Michael Finley, they formed the core of a very good team with an absolutely deadly offense that had some trouble in the playoffs and never won a championship. In the summer of 2004, Nash signed with the Suns, while Dirk stayed with the Mavericks.
Six years later, Nash and Nowitzki have won three MVP awards between them, and are each the unquestioned leaders of two very good teams that have had some trouble in the playoffs and haven’t won a championship. With Dirk and Amar’e Stoudemire both on the free-agency market this summer, there has been some talk that a Nash/Nowitzki reunion in Phoenix could be a possibility.
Will we see Nash and Nowitzki playing together for Phoenix next season? According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, probably not. The idea of Nash and Nowitzki playing together is a fun one, but a lot of dominoes would have to fall into place for Nowitzki to come to Phoenix.
Stein points to four major reasons why Dirk will not be playing for Phoenix next season. First of all, the Mavericks will do everything in their power to get Dirk to make a verbal agreement to re-sign on July 1st, and have the entire month of June to negotiate with Dirk before he can officially opt out of his contract.
Second, Phoenix’s first off-season priority seems to be trying to re-sign current Sun Amar’e Stoudemire, not chasing Nowitzki. Also, if the Suns want to have the cap space necessary to sign Nowitzki, they would need to find a way to unload Leandro Barbosa’s contract without taking any salary back in return.
Finally, Nowitzki would need to take a pay cut to play with Nash and the Suns, and Nash would be 40 years old at the end of a four-year contract. Nash and Nowitzki playing together again is a nice idea, but the odds of it actually happening appear slim at the moment.