No doubt Nene will be the most sought after free agent this shortened offseason.
And due to that, and issues with the front office, there remains doubts whether he will resign with the Denver Nuggets.
Teams like the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets have stated that Nene will be their main priority on Dec. 9, the date when teams can sign free agents. The Miami Heat and New Jersey Nets are also expected to pursue the big man.
The Nuggets do have the advantage of offering Nene the most money, but the question is – are the Nuggets willing to offer him more money?
If they do it means they are investing their future in the growth of Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson and their starting five would be set for years to come with Timofey Mozgov at center, Nene at power forward and Arron Afflalo, who is a restricted free agent that should resign, at shooting guard to go along with Gallinari at small forward and Lawson at point guard.
And to Nene’s credit, he was the Nuggets most consistent scorer last season and was arguably the team’s best player down the stretch last season. He scored in double-figures in 64 of 75 games, and also eclipsed 20-points 15 times. After the Carmelo Anthony trade Nene scored more than 10 points in 19 of 23 games and had double-figure rebounds in nine games after the trade.
It will also be of the Nuggets best interest to move Nene to power forward, where he is much more resourceful. He is a better one-on-one defender than help-defender and at 6-foot-11 and 260-pounds he is a mismatch for most power forwards.
Since the Nuggets can offer Nene the most money it isn’t out of the question that they work on a sign-and-trade (it isn’t very likely either) for the big man. Both the Warriors and Rockets have assets that would benefit the Nuggets.
- GOLDEN STATE: While it is a little far fetched, but the Warriors could deal Monta Ellis for Nene in a sign-and-trade. Ellis is a prolific scorer, but it would put the Nuggets in a major size disadvantage. A lineup of Lawson, Ellis, Afflalo, Gallinari and Mozgov would struggle defensively, especially in the backcourt where the Nuggets would be undersized at point guard (Lawson), shooting guard (Ellis) and even small forward with Afflalo.
- HOUSTON: The Rockets do have some young players that may interest the Nuggets, like Patrick Patterson, Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill. Another far fetched idea.
The most likely option if the Nuggets do lose out in the Nene sweepstakes is Denver takes a wait-and-see approach and use their depth at center and power forward to their advantage this season. If so, the Nuggets could have money to spend for the 2012 free agency class, which will feature Dwight Howard, Deron Williams, Kevin Love, Roy Hibbert, Eric Gordon, OJ Mayo, Brook Lopez, Chris Paul and JaVale McGee.
Tags: Arron Afflalo Brook Lopez Carmelo Anthony Chase Budinger Chris Paul Courtney Lee Danilo Gallinari Denver Nuggets Deron Williams Dwight Howard Eric Gordon Golden State Warriors Houston Rockets JaVale McGee Jordan Hill Kevin Love Miami Heat Monta Ellis Nene New Jersey Nets OJ Mayo Patrick Patterson Roy Hibbert Timofey Mozgov Ty Lawson