Wednesday was the first day NBA teams could talk to free agents and the Houston Rockets wasted no time in contacting Nuggets’ big man Nene.
According to Fox 26 Sports, based out of Houston, the Rockets contacted both Nene and their own free agent Chuck Hayes.
The Rockets are one of the teams that is in the Nene sweepstakes, but there is a lot pessimism out of Houston that the Rockets would land Nene – partly due to his asking price.
Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle suggested that while Nene is the Rockets’ Plan A, they aren’t going to overpay to sign him. In fact, in his words which are much more fun,
The Rockets won’t be packing up a caravan of face painters in an effort to impress Nene.
In fact, Feigen suggested that somebody (New Jersey Nets) would be willing to offer Nene the max ($70 million over four years). Lets hope it isn’t the Nuggets.
Hoopsworld’s Bill Ingram also suggested that Nene would stay in Denver, but Houston could offer a package of young players in a sign-and-trade that would intrigue the Nuggets. The Rockets, much like the Nuggets, have a number of young players of interest and this may be of more interest to Denver – which is on the verge of the rebuilding mode.
- JORDAN HILL – He is a 24-year-old backup big man, who hasn’t lived up to the hype after the New York Knicks drafted him with the eighth pick. Hill can play both power forward and center and averaged 5.6 points and 4.3 rebounds last season. If a sign-and-trade happens (or even considered), Hill would most likely be among the players sent to Denver. Hill would fit in nicely along the Nuggets frontcourt, which would try to replace Nene by committee.
- COURTNEY LEE – Lee has played on three teams in three seasons, which usually is a bad sign for the player. However, in Lee’s case he was just an asset that was moved for a better player. He was originally dealt from the Orlando Magic in the Vince Carter trade and then the New Jersey Nets sent him to Houston in a four-team, five-player trade. Lee isn’t a bad player, he could be considered a poor man’s Arron Afflalo – only better offensively and not as good on defense.
- PATRICK PATTERSON – Patterson is an old-school type player, who is smart and physical and showed a lot of maturity during his rookie season. He shot over 55 percent from the field and has range on his jumper.
- TERRENCE WILLIAMS - There was a lot of hype around Williams after he was drafted out of Louisville, partly due to his athleticism and versatility. He can be a very good defender and rebounder, but he struggles offensively and lacks focus.
- CHASE BUDINGER – It would be hard to see the Rockets part ways with Budinger, he is cheap (less than a million dollars the next two seasons) and he is a decent player that averaged nearly 10 points a game in just over 22 minutes.