Nov 29, 2011, 2:14 PM EDT
Nene is the biggest and best free agent on the market. Unless your team doesn’t need a legit 7-foot big man who plays smart, can defend the paint, rebound well, plus has a deft offensive touch around the rim and from the midrange.
Denver can use one of those but after nine years in the Rockies Nene wants out, reports Ken Berger at CBSSports.com. Nene did not feel appreciated by the organization last year.
The Nuggets are operating under the firm belief that Nene will test the market as an unrestricted free agent, according to a person familiar with the team’s thinking. Six teams have registered interest, the source said: Golden State, New Jersey, Indiana, Miami, Dallas and Houston.
This is where it gets interesting. And it all comes down to money — Nene can get $17.4 million if he goes to Indiana, and both the Nets and Rockets could make small moves to get to offer that much. Those are three teams that are building and see Nene as a key part of that future.
Nene has said he would like to land in Miami, but to go there would mean a pay cut and a sign-and-trade that Denver does not love, reports Brian Windhorst at ESPN.
They will go after top free agent centers like Nene as is Pat Riley’s custom, and perhaps offer Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem in a sign-and-trade with the Nuggets, who have Nene’s rights. They offered this deal, in fact, to the Nuggets last year. But unless Nene is willing to take a massive pay cut to play for the Heat, this is a pipe dream
Dallas is also a team that Nene likes and also is a pipe dream — Dallas wants him but more likely as a backup plan if they cannot re-sign Tyson Chandler.
Golden State could offer near max money if they amnesty David Lee or Andris Biedrins. The Warriors have a fantastic backcourt with Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, Nene would help balance that roster tremendously. But does he want to trust his future to a new ownership group and an unproven coach in Mark Jackson?
When asked, Nene will tell you it’s not about the money, it’s about fit and the chance to win. He’ll have the chance to prove it — he could go to Miami for a lot less money and they become instant favorites for the title (Vegas says they already are). But the smart bet is that he takes the money. All while saying it was not about the money.
- Pacers advance to the Eastern Conference Finals with Game 6 win over Knicks 1
- Roy Hibbert with the monster block on a dunk attempt from Carmelo Anthony in Game 6 (VIDEO) 10
- Nate Robinson unlikely to return to Bulls next season 11
- Preview: Knicks try to continue longshot comeback in Indiana 7
- George Hill cleared to play for Pacers in Game 6 vs. Knicks 10
- Knicks predictably drop Game 4 to Pacers, fall behind 3-1 (93)
- LeBron James shrugs off claims he’s a flopper (64)
- Seattle group releases statement; forced to wait, hope for expansion (63)
- Bad shooting night for Bulls dooms them in game Game 4. And series. (62)
- Kobe Bryant responds to Michael Jordan comparison from Phil Jackson (62)
- Oxbow upsets Orb in Preakness
- PBT Pacers top Knicks, punch ticket to conf. finals
- MST: Carpenter wins pole for 97th Indianapolis 500
- PHT: Couture strikes in OT, lifting Sharks in Game 3
- PHT: Red Wings even up series with Blackhawks
- PBT: Pacers may not have Hill for Game 6
- PHT: No surgery needed for Staal after brutal hit
- Play Video: Grizzlies ready for 'running' Spurs
- Play Video: Durant won't 'compromise himself' like other stars
- Play Video: Knicks avoid elimination
- Play Video: Heat finish off Bulls, James 'has no energy left'
- Play Video: Health woes make Heat vulnerable
- Play Video: Good news for Sacramento, Kings stay