Barkley says Suns missed best chance to trade Nash

The NBA season is new, but many of the story lines remain the same for the 2011-12 Phoenix Suns.

With training camp set to open this weekend at Grand Canyon University, Alvin Gentry’s team is considered by many to be a playoff contender, but not a serious threat to win a title.

This debate comes full circle with regard to 37-year-old All-Star point guard Steve Nash and his future moving forward here in Phoenix.

Nash, who averaged a team-high 14.7 points and 11.4 assists last year is entering the final year of his contract.

Many feel the Suns missed their best opportunity to make a deal.

“The Suns should have traded Steve Nash two years ago,” TNT NBA analyst and former NBA great Charles Barkley told Brad Cesmat on “Big Guy on Sports” Tuesday. “At some point, the Suns were not a contender. I love Steve Nash, but at some point you have to start your rebuilding process.”

Charles Barkley on ‘Big Guy on Sports’

Barkley went on to say Phoenix could have replenished their roster by dealing Nash.

“They could have got some young players and some draft picks when Steve was at his peak,” Barkley explained to Cesmat. “Now it doesn’t make sense for a team to take him. They’re going to lose him after one year (if they can’t agree to an extension).” 

The two-time MVP and 7-time All-Star has said he’s hopeful to remain a Sun, but for now his focus is on the upcoming season.

“I’m excited to be back and want to do whatever I can to put this team in a playoff position.”

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