Dec 13, 2011, 10:57 PM EDT
The biggest free agent on the market is going nowhere.
After flirting with a few teams including the Rockets, Pacers and Nets, Brazilian center Nene has re-signed with the Denver Nuggets with a five-year, $67 million deal, according Marc Stein at ESPN.
That is a really fair deal for both sides, Nene is well paid but the Nuggets did not fall into the trap of overpaying to keep him.
Nene was the top free agent on the market this year, a big man who can defend and rebound plus has a very efficient offensive game. He averaged 14.5 points per game shooting a league-best 61 percent last season, and he pulled down 7.6 rebounds per game. He was a guy you could use as an anchor in the middle on a contending team. That’s what the Rockets and Nets pitched.
But in the end, Nene had a real comfort level in Denver. This is a place where he put down roots (his wife is from Denver) and where he is involved in the community. That matters and always gave Denver the upper hand.
Missing out on Nene may hurt the Nets most, as they continue to strive to land a star player to go along with Deron Williams. It’s not for lack of effort, but if the Nets can’t land someone Williams can walk as a free agent net summer and land somewhere like Dallas (which is clearing out cap space to go after him and other free agents).
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