The Knicks should only pursue Steve Nash if they can first ink Jeremy Lin

Steve Nash is a Hall of Fame caliber player.

Knicks power forward Amar’e Stoudemire expressed hope yesterday that impending free agent point guard Steve Nash will join him in New York and perform at Madison Square Garden this autumn.

Nash, 38, a two-time Most Valuable Player award winner, played with Stoudemire for six-seasons as a member of the Suns in Phoenix.

“Everyone knows that Steve loves New York and that New York loves Steve,” said Stoudemire, 29, a six-time All-Star and 2007 All-NBA First Team selection. “I love Steve. It would be great to have him here next year.”

Nash, a south African-born Canadian who the Suns selected out of Santa Clara with the 15th pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, averaged 12.5 points and 10.7 assists per game this season.

Despite weathering a tad, Nash is still an extremely capable ballplayer and the eight-time NBA All-Star has never won a crown in 16 professional seasons with the Suns and Dallas Mavericks.

Hence, it’s possible that the aging three-time All-NBA First Team player would mull inking a deal with a talented squad that could help him capture an elusive Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.

Due to salary cap restraints, Nash would likely be forced to play for the mid-level exception to team with Stoudemire, five-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony, Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler and Asian-American phenomenon Jeremy Lin.

However, Nash has made a fortune on the hardwood since the Clinton Administration and money likely won’t determine the Canuck’s destination.

Regrettably for all parties involved, the 23-year-old Lin will become a restricted free agent this summer and multiple teams are reportedly interested in signing the Harvard University standout of yesteryear.

Lin, who suffered a torn left meniscus in late-March that required season-ending surgery, averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists in 35-games as a Knick.

If New York managed to acquire Nash, the Knicks could resemble the triumphant 2011 Mavericks and genuinely compete to capture their first franchise title since 1973.

However, age is sneaky and Nash’s athletic abilities may deteriorate quickly at this juncture in his career.

Therefore, the Knickerbockers should only pursue Nash if they can retain the precocious, and blossoming, Lin.

Provided New York first inks the former Crimson standout, the Knicks should aggressively bait Steve Nash because “it would be great to have him here next year” in Gotham.

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