Stein & Ford: Knicks inquired about Steve Nash

The Knicks inquired with the Phoenix Suns about the availability of two-time MVP Steve Nash, ESPN colleagues Marc Stein and Chad Ford are reporting in a news story today regarding the Minnesota Timberwolves' efforts to acquire Nash in a deal that would include the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft.

I also have been hearing that efforts by the Knicks and other teams to acquire Nash have been falling flat, because the Suns are not presently inclined to move him.

But Nash is entering the final year of his contract on a team that needs to begin rebuilding, and logic dictates that there could come a time when the Suns might chance their stance -- especially if Nash decided to press the issue, which he has shown no inclination to do ... yet.

If you are reading this from New York and you would like to make your own personal appeal to Nash to push for a trade to the Knicks, you have a chance to do so tonight in Chinatown when Nash plays in his fourth annual charity soccer event in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. (Stein will be playing, too, trying to sweat off all the In-and-Out Burgers he has gobbled up since the West Coast recently franchise opened a restaurant in Stein's town, Dallas).

And Nash is not the only player who can be lobbied.

Grant Hill, an unrestricted free agent who will be open to signing a one-year deal with a team looking to add a veteran piece, also is expected to play.

As is Tony Parker, who the Spurs reportedly offered to the Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings in exchange for either the No. 5 overall pick or the No. 7 pick.

As for the possibility of the Knicks acquiring Nash from the Suns, they'd have to give up Chauncey Billups plus $3 million in order to offset the difference in salaries, and then they'd have to make the deal enticing to the Suns. One way to do that would be to take back the cap-killing contract of Josh Childress, who is due to make $25 million over the next four seasons. If the Knicks went down that road, it would preclude them from possibly having max salary cap room in the summer of 2012 when they would be able to go out and get Nash without surrendering anything in return and still having enough money leftover to add a complementary piece or two.

Just for kicks, I came up with this trade idea with the help of the ESPN Trade Machine. If you have some time to kill, go ahead and try a few Trade Machine variations of your own and post them in the comments section.

We can also discuss Nash and other trade/draft possibilities today at 3 p.m. in my Knicks chat.