Aug 19, 2011, 1:49 PM EST
Right now, Nene is playing a lot of soccer and spending time with his first child. Good things to do with his summer.
What he normally would have spent his summer doing is being courted as the top free agent big man on the market. He’s a legit center who can defend the paint and rebound, scored 14.5 points a game shooting 61.5 percent last season, and has a midrage game you need to respect (he shot 47 percent beyond 16 feet last season).
Every team could use a guy like that and he will have suitors. And he tells the Denver Post that he plans to savor that. And he’s going to make his decision based on factors other than dollar signs.
“After nine years, I have goals and I’m a team player,” said Nene, who has averaged 12.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in his career. “I’m very competitive. I want to accomplish everything. It’s a big opportunity, and it’s the only one in my life to be a top free agent. So I want to enjoy this moment. If people think it’s about money, they’re wrong. I’ve saved my money. I could retire today. I don’t need to prove points. I like it a lot here.”
Every free agent says it’s not about the money, then they almost always sign with whoever offered the most money. It’s always about the money. But Nene will have big offers from a few teams — the Nuggets want to keep him, the Pacers could use him, and other teams will jump in — so those other factors will matter.
I just hope he gets the chance to savor that decision soon.
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