Suns coach Gentry “feels good” about Suns keeping Nash

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Steve Nash’s free agency is going to be interesting.

Nobody would really begrudge him if he went and chased a ring, but if he’s going to do that in the most logical place, Miami, he’ll be doing it for the veteran minimum. He could go to the Knicks, Lakers, pretty much wherever he wants if he will play for very little money (by standards of what he could earn elsewhere).

But does he want to play for a Heat team with two ball-dominating players? Or the Knicks with ball-dominating Carmelo Anthony? Or the Lakers with Kobe. Does he want to play for a little more than the minimum? If so his choices narrow and the number of title contenders drops fast (maybe the Pacers with him, maybe).

Or, he could get a big payday to stay in Phoenix where he is comfortable (and has family).

More and more, there is a buzz around the league that Nash may look at his choices and say “there’s no place like home.” Smart money still says he leaves, but it’s far from a lock. The Suns are not contenders and they need to improve the team to keep him, but the team knows that.

Through it all, the Suns have confidence, as Alvin Gentry told the Arizona Republic.

“I feel good about it,” coach Alvin Gentry said about retaining Nash. “We just need a player we can throw the ball to at the end of the game, who can get to the foul line, get us a basket or make the right play.

“I think it’s a little unfair for me to ask Steve Nash to do that night in and night out, not just for 66 games, but for 82 games next year. If we’re fortunate enough to have Steve back, and we’re going to do everything we possibly can to do that, I just think he needs some help.”

There are just not a lot of those players out there. But none of Nash’s options are perfect.

It’s going to be interesting.

DeMarcus Cousins barrels in for powerful putback dunk over Bucks (video)

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When DeMarcus Cousins builds up a head of steam like this… poor John Henson (and kind of Khris Middleton).

This helped the Pelicans pull away for a 115-108 win over the Bucks last night.

Enraged Jason Smith restrained from Mario Chalmers (video)

AP Photo/Nick Wass
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During the Wizards’ win over the Grizzlies last night, Mario Chalmers tried to stop Jason Smith from shooting after Smith had been called for travelling. It’s a fairly common tactic, one pioneered by Kevin Garnett. Players don’t want their opponents to gain confidence by seeing the ball go through the net, even after play stops.

But Chalmers held onto Smith’s arm, and Smith took umbrage.

NBC Sports Washington:

I think it’s more likely, after halting Smith’s shot, Chalmers was trying to hold up Smith rather than yank him down. But I can’t know Chalmers’ intentions, and holding up a falling person by his arm isn’t very effective.

The double technical foul called seems about fair.

PBT Extra: Two months from trade deadline watch DeAndre Jordan and… Paul George?

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The NBA trade deadline got moved up this season to Feb. 8 so the league can avoid the spectacle of DeMarcus Cousins being traded during the All-Star Game and then doing an uncomfortable press interview afterward where he had to be told of the situation.

That means we are less than two months away from the trade deadline, and in this PBT Extra I look at the big names that could be on the market.

The Clippers seem likely to move DeAndre Jordan, the only questions are where and what will they get back? But three other teams have big decisions to make about their stars: Oklahoma City with Paul George, New Orleans with DeMarcus Cousins, and Memphis with Marc Gasol. Right now none of those guys are on the market, but that could change.

Trey Lyles dunks on Jayson Tatum then disrespects him far worse (video)

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Trey Lyles made a nice play in the Nuggets’ loss to the Celtics last night, driving by Jayson Tatum then dunking on him.

On the other hand, that swirl around Tatum’s head was not very nice at all.