We're currently less than 15 hours away from the start of the NBA's 2012 free agent period, and Steve Nash doesn't expect to take much time to decide on his destination. Nash tells ESPN.com's Marc Stein that he might make his decision within the "first day or so" of free agency.
"It's crazy to decide on the next three years of your life in an afternoon or a day," Nash said. "Just because things happen fast. People want to get it out of the way and move on. Not only myself but the teams as well. If something funny happens and I want to take my time, I'll definitely take my time. But the way these things go, I feel, usually (they) happen quick."
As we heard yesterday, the Raptors are expected to make an aggressive pitch to the Canadian point guard, and ESPN.com's John Hollinger (Insider link) thinks Toronto could be the frontrunner. According to Stein, the Raptors' offer could approach $12MM annually. Nash acknowledged that the Raps probably won't become a title contender anytime in the near future, even if the signs there, but said he'll still consider them.
"The Raptors would be one of those teams where you're probably not going there to win a championship in the next three years," Nash said. "For me it'd be going home to Canada, to a great city, and trying to help an organization move forward…. I'm going to look at every opportunity and Toronto will be one that I'll study as well and look at the opportunity for them to grow in the next three years and what kind of impact I can have on that team. And obviously from a community standpoint, it's a special place for me."
The Knicks also appear ready to make a pitch to Nash, and will have a contingent in New York to recruit Nash tomorrow, says Stein, but they can't compete with Nash's other suitors from a financial standpoint. The Mavericks and Nets also could be in the mix, particularly whichever team finds itself on the short end of the Deron Williams sweepstakes. The Mavs are prepared to offer the 38-year-old a two-year deal, according to Stein.
What's becoming more clear is that Nash seems unlikely to re-sign in Phoenix. While at one point the Suns appeared to be the favorites, Nash says he no longer views them as a "home run" and thinks the team may be moving in a different direction.
"For the first time I realize that it might not be Phoenix," Nash said. "I would have said even in the middle of (last) season or last year that I would have thought I probably would have stayed in Phoenix forever. But it's come to a point now where I'm facing the reality that's not (the case)."
As we prepare for free agency, you can check out Hoops Rumors' full list of unrestricted free agents right here.