Canadian basketball icon Steve Nash was a quality starting point guard during his six seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, but he wasn't putting multiple Maurice Podoloff Trophies on his mantle and taking the league by storm at the forefront of a seven-seconds-or-less offense the way he would in the Valley of the Sun.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had the opportunity to keep Nash on his roster for at least four more seasons on a new deal following the 2003-04 regular season. The original offer was pegged at approximately $9 million annually with a partially guaranteed fifth season. Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns had a six-year, $63-million contract on the table too.
Cuban didn't match, identifying injury concerns and the risk of investing heavily in a 30-year-old guard among his reasons for doing so.
Big mistake? Years later, Cuban definitely believes that's the case.
"We certainly didn't see him as a two-time Most Valuable Player. And it was the biggest mistake I made not re-signing him," Cuban said, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Dwain Price. "We thought his body would break down and it certainly didn't. So bad advice, bad across the board."
The Suns qualified for the postseason five of the next six years with Nash running the show, reaching the Western Conference finals on two occasions. He took home MVP honors in both 2005 and 2006, and led the Association in assists five times.
Cuban probably has a few more regrets when he looks at the current state of his club, which owns the NBA's worst record at 2-13.