The 15th player chosen in the 1996 NBA Draft, Nash averaged just 3.3 points and 2.1 assists in 10.5 minutes as a rookie, playing behind an established star, Johnson, and a star on the rise, Kidd. He faced the same logjam in 1997-98 but couldn't be completely held back, averaging 9.1 points and 3.4 assists in 21.9 minutes per game. By the end of his second season he was one of the players most often mentioned in trade talks, since it was clear that he could be a starting point guard but was unlikely to get that chance in Phoenix, with Kidd on the roster. Dallas put together the package that landed him shortly after the 1998 NBA Draft, sending Martin Muursepp, Bubba Wells, 1998 first-round draft pick Pat Garrity and a first-round draft choice in 1999 to the Suns. Nash immediately became Dallas' starting point guard, averaging a team-high 5.5
assists per game in 1998-99.
Recorded a season and game-high 22 points (5-10 3FG) and 4 assists in a 104-90 victory over the Sacramento Kings on 3/20/99 Led the Suns in 1997-98, and ranked 13th in the NBA, in three-point percentage (.415) Scored 10 points and matched his career-high with 12 assists against over the Houston Rockets on 4/19/98 Registered a career-high 24 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists against the Denver Nuggets on 4/15/98 Finished third, with Michele Timms of the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, in the inaugural Nestle Crunch All-Star 2ball during All-Star Saturday Participated in the Schick Rookie Game during the 1997 NBA All-Star Weekend in Cleveland Posted rookie season-highs of 17 points, 12 assists and 7 rebounds, in his first career NBA start and his British Columbia homecoming, against the Vancouver Grizzlies on 11/14/96 Has appeared in 8 career NBA Playoff games, averaging 3.4 ppg in 8.3 mpg Named West Coast Conference Player of the Year in 1995 and 1996