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Nene likely to opt out of deal with Nuggets, test market

May 3, 2011, 1:02 PM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Denver Nuggets

Whenever the NBA gets around to having a free agent signing period after the lockout — an intense, condensed free agent signing period — Nene might make a lot of money. He might be the biggest name on the board.

That is, if he opts out of the $11.6 million he would get next year. And it feels more and more like he is going test the free agent market (even though talks about a three-year extension have taken place). Ask Nene why leave and he says it’s because he is not happy with the Nuggets, reports the Denver Post.

“I’ve been here for nine years,” said Nene, 28. “If that doesn’t work how you want it, you need to sit down and evaluate everything and see what you can do….

“If I play happy, if I enjoy the game, my game improves,” Nene said. “I did my best for the team, for the city. I tried to do my best for the fans. But the (Nuggets) need to understand you need to see the return on the other side, or you need to look for it. You need to look for it sometimes.

“They don’t realize all of the sacrifices I made. When you don’t feel appreciated, it’s hard.”

In a league where real centers are hard to come by, Nene has real value. He is  a good defensive and rebounding center who also scored 14.5 points per game shooting 61.5 percent. Just about every team could use that.

The money Nene likely will draw will be comparable to what he would get if he picked up his option, maybe a couple million more. Players of his ilk are in the $12-$13 million a year ballpark. He likely would get a long-term deal however, he’s only 28 so teams may well offer whatever length the new collective bargaining agreement will allow.

He was key to a lot of Denver’s post-Carmelo success. Nene cannot carry a team, but he can be a key cog at a hard-to-fill position. The Nuggets need to find a way to convince him he is appreciated in Denver or they will have a big hole to fill in the middle.

  1. saveusterrelldavis - May 3, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    Give me a break. What about all those seasons he’s made 10 million on the bench. Him & Kmart can both take a hike. I forgot these guys were even on the roster til they had to play for their next contract. Go sign a fatty and blowup a knee for your good karma jackbag!

    • denverhoopdreams - May 3, 2011 at 3:58 PM

      Whoa man!

  2. LPad - May 3, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    Yes, how dare players follow the terms of their contract. Yes, shame on Nene he should of played through his cancer. Instead of get treatment and recover.

    • denverhoopdreams - May 3, 2011 at 4:15 PM

      Why did you just bring his cancer into this?

      • LPad - May 3, 2011 at 5:57 PM

        i was responding to guy who wants to complain that he made 10 mil while sitting on the bench. there was a reason why he was on the bench

      • denverhoopdreams - May 3, 2011 at 6:46 PM

        You’re taking his post out of context and assuming he meant it about his cancer which was 5 years ago. Get off this blog already, the fact that you brought up his cancer makes me sick.

      • denverhoopdreams - May 3, 2011 at 6:47 PM

        Basically you don’t get the point of that guys initial post, I mean he did mention knee’s and K-Mart afterall.

      • asdf1981 - May 4, 2011 at 1:38 AM

        I don’t understand the big deal about bringing up Nene’s cancer. It was the cause of him missing two seasons and ever since than fans have accused him of being soft. Too often fans overlook the fact of his battle with cancer and how successful he came back from it.

      • denverhoopdreams - May 4, 2011 at 5:20 PM

        Who are you talking about by saying “FANS”? Are you talking Denver in general? Or ISOLATED fans? I’d hope that latter.

  3. LPad - May 4, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    well go throw up then

    • LPad - May 4, 2011 at 10:37 AM

      whether its his knee or the fact he got sick, implying he stole from the team is wrong because he didn’t

      • saveusterrelldavis - May 4, 2011 at 11:29 AM

        Implying that he hasn’t been appreciated by the Nuggets is wrong. We gave him a $60 million dollar contract when he was 22, injury prone and had proved nothing. Its pretty easy to see he’s butthurt about not getting his contract before the new CBA when reality will set in and all these overpaid bums will be brought down to earth. The Nuggets have been negotiating with him, and he’s due $11.5 next year, sounds pretty fair to me. What he wants is Carlos Boozer, Al Horford 12-14 mil annually. Which makes no sense to pay a complimentary piece who disappears at times. I love Nene. I love watching him play. He destroyed Perk last series. But he averages 14.5 pts a game. He’s not Shaq. He’s not even Zach Randolph. He should stop fantasizing about making their kind of money.

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