Nene not looking for money?

Denver Post’s Benjamin Hochman did a good job Tuesday about keeping Denver Nuggets fans up to date on Nene through the lockout and with free agency. 

Couple of interesting points of Hochman story are:

  • Nene, who is a free agent, said he is more interested in winning than in money.
  • He is staying in shape by playing soccer during the lockout.
  • And him and his wife finally had their first child last month.

It’s tough to say if Nene would take less money to play for a team he felt would give him a better chance at winning a championship. Needless to say it would definitely make things interesting for the Nuggets when the lockout is lifted.

What’s interesting is that all of the teams that had better records than the Nuggets last year are maxed out and couldn’t offer anything close to what the Nuggets could offer the nine-year veteran. However, it doesn’t mean they wouldn’t offer a deal and then do a sign-and-trade with the Nuggets. And it doesn’t mean that Nene wouldn’t see an up and coming team like Indiana as having a better shot at winning.
Other options are:
  • SAN ANTONIO: Nene would be a perfect player for the Spurs. He’s smart, unselfish and is a team player. He also would work well next to Tim Duncan, and lets not forget that fellow Brazilian, Tiago Splitter, plays for San Antonio. However, would he be willing to take a significant pay cut to play for the Spurs?
  • MIAMI: The Heat have been rumored to be Nene’s top choice. His unselfish nature and good hands would be a perfect addition for the Heat. But just like the Spurs, the Heat don’t have any spending money and Nene would have to take a serious pay cut.
  • ATLANTA: The Hawks (45-37) didn’t have as good as record as the Nuggets, but they did go farther after upsetting Orlando in the first round. One of the biggest knocks on Atlanta has been their lack of size with Al Horford being their only true big man. Nene and Horford are very compatible and have very similar games. This scenario may also work for the Nuggets as Atlanta’s athletic forward Josh Smith has been rumored to be on the trading block. Smith has a JR Smith-lite personality, so you can imagine that he isn’t somebody that Karl is too thrilled about. However, he also is a bit more competitive than JR Smith and brings a defensive presence that more than rivals Kenyon Martin.
  • ORLANDO: The Magic are trying to keep Dwight Howard in the long run, but it is tough with not much financial flexibility. Nene could help Orlando out with his unselfishness and size. He wouldn’t demand the ball, but would work well next to arguably the best big man in the League. For this to work it would have to be in another sign and trade and while the Magic can’t offer a great package, at least the Nuggets could get some sort of compensation like JJ Redick, Ryan Anderson and picks.
  • BOSTON: The Celtics struggled last season after they traded away Kendrick Perkins and may see Nene as the option as his replacement.
  • HOUSTON: Nene may see the Rockets as a team that has a better chance of winning. If so Houston could sign him out right (unless things change with the lockout) or they could offer the Nuggets a small package of their younger players (Patrick Patterson, Chase Budinger, Courtney Lee…).
No matter where Nene ends up, there is a need for him – especially in Denver. While fans tend to grow frustrated with Nene because he isn’t aggressive enough, he is an ideal player that every coach wants. He has great size and hands, unselfish to a fault and is a willing teammate. He’ll never be a go-to guy, but no coach will ask him to be.

Topics: Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Chase Budinger, Courtney Lee, Denver Nuggets, Dwight Howard, George Karl, Houston Rockets, J.R. Smith, JJ Redick, Josh Smith, JR Smith, Kendrick Perkins, Kenyon Martin, Miami Heat, Nene, Orlando Magic, Patrick Patterson, Ryan Anderson, San Antonio Spurs, Tiago Splitter, Tim Duncan

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