Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Heat fans who continue to lament the team’s struggles at point guard may have just been given something to hope for almost as much as landing LeBron James in the first place.
Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash told the Dan Patrick Show Thursday that he would definitely listen to Heat president Pat Riley if the team wanted to make him an offer.
“I’d listen; James is phenomenal. I love what they’re doing there,” Nash said. “A lot of people don’t like them because they put all that talent together, but they’re professional, they play hard, they play together. Their coaching staff had done a great job. So, I have a tremendous amount of respect for them, and I would definitely listen.”
Nash later said he would consider returning to the Suns if they showed improved and looked like a team that could contend again.
There would be one giant problem for the Heat acquiring Nash, the salary cap. Miami has roughly $78 million committed for next year and the salary cap will be roughly $58 million with a luxury tax of approximately $70 million, according to probasketballtalk.com.
The Heat could theoretically clear nearly $6 million in cap space if they finally decided to end the Mike Miller experiment and use the one-time amnesty clause on him. The Heat will also have to re-evaulate Udonis Haslem, who has been a shell of his former self on the offensive end of the floor this season.
If Nash wants to win a ring, he will take the mini-mid level exception the Heat can offer him next year. Adding Nash to the Heat’s roster would almost make them unbeatable if he can still hold up over an 82 game schedule.
This year, Nash is averaging 12.9 points, 11.2 assists and 3 rebounds per game. His assists are well above his career average of 8.6, though his scoring has dropped from his career average of 14.5.
It will be up to Nash as to whether he wants to make one last hard pursuit of a ring, or finish out his career in Phoenix.