Investigating The Rumor Mill: Nene

Nene is a hot commodity, but can he do better than the Nuggets?

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The Denver Nuggets season may be done, but there still remains some chatter about some of the Nuggets players and their availability.

Among the more talked about players have been center Nene and reserve guards Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith.

Nene, who recently said he’d opt out of his contract due to  issues with the Nuggets organization, may be one of the more sought after players in free agency next season.

The Brazilian big man has been linked to many teams from all over the League, including recently knocked out Boston Celtics, championship-contending Miami heat, Nuggets’ division rivals Portland Trailblazers, the always great San Antonio Spurs – as well as the surprise playoff team the Philadelphia 76ers.

BOSTON – Nene is on the Celtics fans wish list, but is a long shot to join the boys in green due to his pricing. And as most fans do, some Boston fans have overvalued their own team – suggesting that the two teams work out a one-sided trade where the Celtics get J.R. Smith and Nene and the Nuggets get reserve big man Glen ‘Big Baby Davis, restricted free agent Jeff Green, rookie guard Avery Bradley and a first round draft pick.  Nene to Celtics is intriguing, but not likely.

HOUSTON – The Rockets have been eager for Nene’s services since before the trade deadline and he’d fill the inkling hole in Houston’s frontcourt. Of course, the main question remains can Houston pay Nene more money than the Nuggets? If the Rockets do land Nene, what do they do with Yao Ming? And if it comes down to a sign-and-trade, would the Rockets offer Kevin Martin?

MIAMI – Nene has been linked to the Heat since the trade deadline and they may be his top choice when/if he hits the free agent market. However, the problem remains is that the Heat can’t pay Nene the money he wants and therefore a sign-and-trade would have to be worked out between the two squads. And the only logical player (since neither LeBron James nor Dwayne Wade is getting traded) is Chris Bosh to get the veteran big man. Bosh would be a Nuggets’ fans dream pick up, but again that is a long shot since it would a step sideways for the Heat.

PHILADELPHIA – The 76ers are intriguing, since their biggest need is exactly what Nene is. Another big man to put next to Elton Brand, Nene would fit in well with Doug Collins versatile, team-first play and he’d play next to true big man like Brand. Of course, for Nene to get his most money it’d have to be a sign-and-trade. And would the Nuggets accept an Andre Iguodala for Nene trade?

PORTLAND – The Blazers have been rumored to be interested in Nene, but those talks were dismissed by John Canzano, who said he doesn’t see Portland being interested in Nene due to his injury history. Of course, the Blazers are an intriguing place since Nene’s good friend Marcus Camby plays there – as well as former Nugget point guard Andre Miller.

SACRAMENTO – The Kings are one of the teams that can overpay to get Nene and if that happens Sacramento could be a dangerous team with DeMarcus Cousins and Nene in the frontcourt and Tyreke Evans in the backcourt.

SAN ANTONIO – The Spurs have also been rumored with Nene, but that is another long shot idea. It seems like a dream scenario, he’d play next to Hall of Famer Tim Duncan and with former Brazilian big man Tiago Splitter. But again the money situation cancels that idea out quickly, unless the Nuggets would take back Richard Jefferson’s gaudily contract and DeJuan Blair.

It’s tough to see what Nene is looking for, but the most logical situation is for him to resign with the Nuggets – unless he wants to play for less money or with a lottery team.


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Tags: Andre Iguodala Andre Miller Avery Bradley Boston Celtics Chris Bosh DeJuan Blair DeMarcus Cousins Dwayne Wade Elton Brand Glen Davis Houston Rockets J.R. Smith Jeff Green JR Smith Kevin Martin LeBron James Marcus Camby Nene Philadelphia 76ers Raymond Felton Richard Jefferson Sacramento Kings San Antonio Spurs Tiago Splitter Tim Duncan Tyreke Evans Yao Ming

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