Team officials from the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns are spending Independence Day working on a trade that Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports said is in its "critical stages."
Citing league sources who are now calling the Knicks "frontrunners" to land Steve Nash, Wojnarowski said the deal would involve multiple players being sent from New York to Phoenix in exchange for the two-time MVP:
Nash and the Knicks are in the critical stages of discussions on a three-year deal worth between $27 million-$30 million to be executed through a sign-and-trade deal with the Suns. The Knicks would send rookie guard Iman Shumpert and two players – including Toney Douglas and Dan Gadzuric – to Phoenix for Nash, sources said.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, Shumpert may be the snag in the sign-and-trade:
One source close to the talks told ESPN.com: "The Knicks don't want to trade (Shumpert), but they will if they have to. They want Nash."
The Toronto Raptors, who reached a verbal agreement with Knicks guard Landry Fields for three years and $20 million, offered Nash $36 million over three years. According to Wojnarowski, Nash told New York he'd prefer to play for the Knicks instead of Toronto but they'd have to come closer to what the Raptors offered.
Nash is reportedly interested in a reunion with Amare Stoudemire though it's not clear how he'd fit with coach Mike Woodson's offense, which is much different than the style of play employed by former Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni, who coached Nash in Phoenix.
Wojnarowski also reported that the Knicks intend to match any offer made to Jeremy Lin, who spent Wednesday in Houston meeting with Rockets team officials. Players cannot officially sign with a team until July 11.