It seems like the Denver Nuggets never get to have it easy and on Monday Masai Ujiri and Josh Kroenke lives got a little tougher.
Nene, the Nuggets’ starting center and longest tendered player told Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post he felt unappreciated and was thinking about opting out of the final season of his contract, which is worth $11.8 million.
Nene could possibly feel under appreciated, as most professional athletes do, but no one knows for sure. Most likely it is a ploy from Nene and his team to get a contract extension done before the Collective Bargaining Agreement is set.
Big men like Kendrick Perkins and Zach Randolph each received contract extensions and no doubt Nene took notice and would like one similar to the two. Each signed four year extensions and from the sounds of it the Nuggets are only willing to offer Nene a three-year extension.
Opting out of the final year of his contract is a big gamble, especially with the uncertainty ahead with the NBA and what the CBA is. But it is also a big gamble for the Nuggets. There aren’t a lot of talented big man in the NBA and don’t expect Dwight Howard to take his talent to the Mile High City. And while Timofey Mozgov has potential, he still is only in his second year in the League.
Now the question remains are Ujiri and Kroenke willing to call Nene’s bluff or take a chance with resigning him on the open market.
No doubt Nene may be the prize big man on the market, Marc Gasol and DeAndre Jordan are each restricted free agent so teams are going to have to barter to get either one.
Teams like Miami and New York may be interested, but neither can offer Nene half of the money that the Nuggets can.
Teams like Cleveland, Detroit, Minnesota and Sacramento may also be interested, but that would be a step backwards for a player that has been in the playoffs for the past seven years.
Sometimes, just sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
Topics: Arron Afflalo, Cleveland Cavaliers, DeAndre Jordan, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Dwight Howard, J.R. Smith, Josh Kroenke, Kendrick Perkins, Kenyon Martin, Marc Gasol, Massai Ujiri, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, Nene, New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings, Timofey Mozgov, Wilson Chandler, Zach Randolph