Posted: July 14, 2004
The Phoenix Suns today signed former Suns favorite and free-agent guard Steve Nash, widely considered one of the NBA's premier playmakers.
The two-time NBA All-Star and All-NBA Third Team selection in 2002 and 2003 rejoins the Suns organization after spending six seasons with the Dallas Mavericks. Nash originally was selected by Phoenix in the first round (15th overall) of the 1996 NBA Draft.
The 6-3, 195-pound guard owns career averages of 12.5 points and 6.1 assists in 28.6 minutes in eight NBA seasons, but those averages have risen to 16.5 points and 7.8 assists in 33.8 minutes in the last four seasons. During the last four seasons, the Mavericks posted the NBA's fourth-best winning percentage (.678, 222-106) with Nash at the helm. In addition, he is one of only four NBA players to rank in the top 10 in assists in each of the last three seasons (Jason Kidd, Jason Williams and Stephon Marbury).
One of the most accurate free-throw and three-point shooters in NBA history, Nash ranks third all-time and first among active players in free throw percentage (.893, minimum 1,200 made), and seventh all-time and third among active players in three-point field goal percentage (.416, minimum 250 made). Nash has shot 40 percent or better from three-point range in seven of eight seasons and 86 percent or better from the free-throw stripe in six of eight seasons.
Last season for the Mavericks, Nash averaged 14.5 points and a career-high 8.8 assists in 78 games for the NBA's highest scoring offense. Among league leaders, the 30-year-old ranked third in assists, first in assists per 48 minutes (12.6), sixth in assists per turnover ratio (3.29), second in free throw percentage (.916), tied for 11th in three-point field goal percentage (.405) and 32nd in field goal percentage (.470). Nash also recorded his first career triple-double with 14 points, 12 assists and a career-high 10 rebounds versus Portland on Nov. 17, 2003.
A durable performer, Nash has played in 242 of 246 games in the last three seasons and played the full 82-game schedule in 2001-02 and 2002-03.
As a member of the Suns from 1996-98, Nash averaged 6.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 16.7 minutes in 141 career games before he was traded to Dallas on July 25, 1998 in exchange for Pat Garrity, Bubba Wells, Martin Muursepp and a future first-round pick (Shawn Marion, ninth pick overall in the 1999 NBA Draft).
Nash, who was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, but grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, has been a member of the Canadian National Team since 1993 and was captain of the team at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.