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Warriors asking about Nene, just because

Feb 9, 2011, 6:58 PM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Denver Nuggets

I suppose it never hurts to ask. Despite their lack of compatible assets, the Golden State Warriors are reportedly inquiring as to the availability of Nene, the highly efficient pivot who could make all of the Dubs’ dreams come true. From Marcus Thompson II of the San Jose Mercury News:

According to multiple sources, the Warriors have inquired about Nene, a 6-foot-11, 250-pound center from Brazil. But the Nuggets would have to agree to trade him, and Nene would have to agree to a contract extension because he is a pending free agent. So he remains a relative dream. “We have to look at what we have,” Warriors coach Keith Smart said. “We can’t wish and hope for something we don’t have.”

It’s hard to blame the Warriors for trying; Nene is a productive scorer and a pretty skilled on-ball post defender, and should Denver end up moving Carmelo Anthony before the trade deadline, Nene could be shipped out soon after. However, acquiring Nene would prove difficult even without the aforementioned contract extension. Unless the Warriors are looking to part ways with one of their top players, they likely lack the assets to pull in such a significant prize. Golden State doesn’t have access to its draft picks for trade purposes (via Ball Don’t Lie) for the foreseeable future, meaning the Warriors would have to make a deal worth the Nuggets’ time in real, tangible assets. Role players won’t do, and expiring contracts can be found elsewhere. There’s no real, compelling reason for the Nuggets to stay on the line unless Monta Ellis, Steph Curry, or perhaps David Lee were involved, but that’s incredibly unlikely given Nene’s contract status.

Golden State couldn’t have known until they tried, but now they’ve tried, and they should know what was obvious all along: Denver isn’t going to just give Nene away, no matter how badly another team might need him.

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