Nash, Suns agree to $22M extension

Two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash has agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Phoenix Suns worth $22 million US, according to his agent.

Victoria's Steve Nash is staying put in Phoenix.

The two-time NBA MVP agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Suns worth $22 million US, according to his agent.

Bill Duffy confirmed the agreement had been reached after reports surfaced that Nash, 35, had reached a deal with the Suns that would see him under contract with the team until the 2011-2012 season.

Nash will make $13.1 million this season, after which he would have become an unrestricted free agent. The all-star point guard would have attracted plenty of attention on the open market next summer.

Nash averaged 15.7 points, three rebounds and 9.7 assists per game last season with the Suns.

He has said he would like to stay in Phoenix and the Suns made it clear that signing the all-star was a top priority in the off-season.

Nash, the league's MVP in 2005 and 2006 and a first-team all-NBA selection from 2005-07, had been in negotiations with the Suns for several weeks. He's expected to sign the agreement later this week.

Duffy said the agreement will defer $6 million in the final two years of the contract, with $3 million being paid in each of the two years after the contract expires.

The deal came closer to completion last Wednesday when Suns owner Robert Sarver met with Duffy to up the team's earlier offer.

Nash is staying with a team that failed to make the playoffs this past season, and may be without all-star Amare Stoudemire in a year's time. Stoudemire has one year left on his contract and wants the maximum in a new deal, something the Suns may not be willing to do.

The Suns selected Nash in the first round (15th overall) of the 1996 draft. He has played seven of his 12 NBA seasons in Phoenix, where he returned in 2004-05 after five years with Dallas.

In the past five seasons in Phoenix, Nash has shot better than 50 per cent from the field and 43 per cent from three-point range.

With files from The Associated Press