Feb 17, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT
Do people realize how good Nene is? He’s not just another one-named Brazilian.
He averages 15 points a game but he’s shooting 63.7 percent to get them (best percentage in the league, easily). He’s strong and draws a higher percentage and-one fouls than anyone in the league save Reggie Evans. He’s good on the boards. He can defend the post.
General managers know how good Nene is. Which is why Denver’s front office is fielding a lot of calls about him, as Chris Sheridan reported at ESPN.
The player drawing the most interest is their center, Nene, with the Houston Rockets at the front of the line offering a combination of young players and draft picks to give the Nuggets more of the rebuilding pieces they are seeking.
Houston makes a lot of sense — they need a big presence in the middle to replace the void left by Yao Ming. They also have lots of options on players and picks to move for him.
Sheridan’s main point echoes what we’ve been saying — don’t expect Denver to wait until 2:59 p.m. next Thursday (a minute before the trade deadline) to pull the trigger on the Carmelo Anthony deal. They have other deals such as Nene and J.R. Smith they will want to make when they go into full-on rebuilding mode.
But whoever gets Nene in a deal instantly gets a lot better.