The moment NBA teams were first allowed to reach out to free agents on Wednesday, seven team reached out to representatives for free agent PF/C Nene to open the courtship process, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The seven teams were the: Denver Nuggets, New Jersey Nets, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers.
Two teams not on that list of initial suitors? The Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks, two teams Nene would supposedly prefer to land on, but lack cap space to make a huge offer happen without a sign-and-trade involving the Nuggets. Meanwhile, Nuggets' GM Masai Ujiri recently said that re-signing Nene is the team's top priority heading into free agency.
...Nene is legitimately on the market, with the Nuggets looking more like a retooling team than a true championship contender. Of course, the only teams who can give Nene the money he's looking for without Denver participation in a sign-and-trade aren't contenders either.
That's all to say that Nene's free agency is going to be a big ol' ball of mystery. The player is a well-known quantity: an efficient scorer with an average usage rate, an average rebounder but better-than-solid defender and one of the most devastating open-court threats at the position. He also has braids and is a cancer survivor. There's a lot to like.
At this point it's anyone's guess as to where Nene will end up once the 2011-12 season begins.
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