Suns Pry Nash Away

Paul Coro
The Arizona Republic
July 2, 2004

Dallas Mavericks fans kept hearing that Steve Nash's intentions were to finish what he started.

Turns out he decided to finish where he started.

Nash will return to Phoenix after a Suns power entourage convinced him to accept a five-year, $65 million offer on the first day of NBA free-agent negotiations. The Suns were a 29-win whisper last season with the NBA's youngest team but they made noise on Thursday.

Nash, 30, received a "partial guarantee" on a sixth contract year.

He left Phoenix a well-regarded young backup six summers ago. The Suns traded him to Dallas for Pat Garrity, Bubba Wells, Martin Muursepp and a first-round pick that they used to take Shawn Marion.

Nash, who can't sign until July 14, returns as a two-time All-Star who finished third in the league in assists. He has averaged 16.5 points and 7.8 assists over the past four years. He missed six games in the past three seasons.

Suns managing owner Robert Sarver, Chairman Jerry Colangelo, President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo, coach Mike D'Antoni, consultant and part owner Steve Kerr, power forward Amar