The Nuggets weren’t finished after giving Melo his inevitable max contract extension, as they spent the weekend giving a six-year, $60M deal to bench player Nene.
Yeah, if Angry Kenyon Martin gets traded as assumed, then Nene is the starting power forward, albeit one that’s coming off ACL surgery. Apparently that’s not a big deal anymore now that we have microfracture surgeries.
Nene last season played only 3 minutes after tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament in the Nov. 1 opener against the San Antonio Spurs and missing the rest of the season. [Nuggets coach George] Karl said the Nuggets would “have a party” if Nene can play 2,000 minutes next season.
“He’s particularly grateful to Stan Kroenke. He stood by him after his injury,” [Nene agent Dan] Fegan said of Nene, who has averaged 10.7 points and 6.2 rebounds in four seasons.
We’re betting George’s Nene party doesn’t happen, although it’s going to have nothing to do with injuries. No, it’ll have everything to do with Nene not being very good.
Nene is one of those guys who was supposed to develop into a powerhouse big man – he’s the type that people are always hyping up his potential, even after four years and four average seasons. (Yes, we count last year’s 3-minute showcase, simply to make our point sound better.)
He is what he is – an average big man off the bench, and now he’s being paid like an upper echelon starter. Says a lot about the state of the big man in today’s NBA, eh? (See: Dampier, Erick and Foyle, Adonal and Chandler, Tyson and Dalembert, Samuel and soon to be Gooden, Drew unfortunately.)
What do we really care though, right? So Denver brings back the exact same team as last year – the one that struggled through the regular season and got embarrassed in the NBA PLAYOFFS. NBA PLAYOFFS in big letters for DRAMATIC TENSION.
(Seriously – are ACL’s not a big deal anymore? We’re not a doctor after that incident in late 03, so we haven’t kept up on such things.)