Nene, Unrestricted Free Agent
I’ve always loved the big Brazilian’s game. He’s tough, athletic, can score and defend. He does everything you’d want out of your center, and does it all quietly and without any off-court problems. If he wasn’t such a nice guy, then I’d say switch the style up. If they hate then let them hate and watch the money pile up. Give him the money and enjoy.
Of course, Nene is too nice of a guy to probably ever be an All-Star and despite that, he wants to test his value on the free agent market. Someone will come swooping in to throw bundles of cash his way. Right now, the suitors appear to be Golden State, New Jersey, Indiana, Miami, Dallas and Houston, and there’s already talk of maxing Nene out. Wait, I thought the point of the lockout was to protect owners from themselves? To get rid of some of the ridiculous contracts they hand out? A max deal for Nene wouldn’t be the same as giving, say, Travis Outlaw $35 million. But it would still be too much, even if the new CBA will probably mean a contract for $74 million (max) as opposed to what he could’ve gotten with the old one: $100 million.
Reports are indicating he’ll leave Denver, but I’m not so sure yet. We know the Rockets will go all out to get him, and we can assume the Nets will show a lot of interest. But he can make the most money by staying where he is (this is where a sign-n-trade could come in), and the majority of his suitors who have the cap space to offer without needing a sign-n-trade to make it happen don’t look ready to compete in the playoffs (neither do the Nuggets, but at least the money is there).