HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The free agent class of 2012 took a major hit when Dwight Howard decided to stick around in Orlando for at least another year.
That doesn’t mean things won’t get interesting in July, though. In fact, things could get heat up considerably if a couple of the veteran guards that will be available market themselves to a certain outfit in Miami that is seeking some scoring and backcourt firepower to aid their championship cause.
Both Steve Nash and Jason Terry spoke on it Thursday, making it clear that all of their options will remain open in free agency. Nash was on the “Dan Patrick Show” and didn’t rule out anything, a return to Phoenix, being reunited with Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas or taking a call from the LeBron James and the Heat, if they are interested:
“I would listen,” Nash said. “He’s phenomenal. I love what they’re doing there. A lot of people don’t like them because they put all that talent there. But they’re professional, they play hard, they play together. Their coaching staff has done a great job, so I have a tremendous amount of respect for them.
“I would definitely listen.”
Nash talking Miami in free agency isn’t that surprising. He’s going to be on most every title contender’s call list this summer. But Terry talking about Miami, after the way he went after the Heat (on and off the court) in The Finals last season, is a bit of a surprise.
He told Fox Sports Florida that the Heat would have to a consideration for obvious reasons:
“(Team president) Pat Riley is a great guy and what he’s done with the organization is tremendous. “No question, they need a veteran shooter, a guy who can score besides LeBron (James) and (Dwyane Wade), and they know they can count on. I’m a guy that’s been in this league 13 years, (averaging) 15 points a night, easy. Off the bench or the starting lineup, it doesn’t matter. So I think I’d be an asset to them.”
Without a contract extension and no guarantee that he’ll get a chance to finish his career in Dallas, Terry has to play the game as well. But while Nash’s remarks won’t cause much of a ripple in Phoenix, Terry’s comments will certainly raise a few eyebrows in Dallas.
Jean-Jacques Taylor of ESPNDallas.com didn’t hesitate to point out the obvious:
No good could possibly come from those types of comments. Jet’s better than that.
Or at least he should be.
This isn’t really the time for the 34-year-old to be consumed by his contract. This is the time to help the Mavs make the playoffs. After this latest butt-kicking, the Mavs have only a one-game lead in the loss column against ninth-place Denver, which means the playoffs remain in doubt.
Jet talks about the franchise’s loyalty to him all the time, but he owes it some loyalty, too. We all know pro sports is a business, but it’s important for the player and the team to treat each other with respect.
When Jet talks about joining the Heat less than two hours before a game against Miami, it’s disrespectful to the owner, the coach and his teammates.
The Mavs need him to get his game right on a consistent basis since it’s hard for the Mavs to win on the nights Jet struggles, because he and Dirk Nowitzki are the team’s only consistent scorers.
Terry’s comments don’t bother us here at the hideout. He’s doing what all soon-to-be free agents have to do, and that’s stir up a little drama to keep folks interested. And him joining the Heat would give them another veteran shooter but hardly tip the scales dramatically in the Heat’s favor next season.
What’s more interesting to us is envisioning either one of these guys in a Heat uniform next season. Nash with James and Wade (no offense Mario Chalmers) would be a show no one would want to miss. Nash has played with superstars before and has a knack for making anyone on the receiving end of his passes look good.
What he could do with James, Wade and Chris Bosh on the receiving end of those passes should make the rest of the league extremely nervous.
And if Nash if finally ready to start chasing a championship, there a few options that would appear to be better fits (at least on paper) than what he could potentially walk into in Miami.