- Nene’s NBA career could be coming to an end soon
- Rockets expected to part with Nene to avoid the luxury tax line
- Nene unlikely to draw suitors since he has not played a single game this NBA season
The Houston Rockets could be another team active before the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 6. There are several names being linked to them such as Andre Iguodala of the Memphis Grizzlies. But to pull it off, they need to figure out who among their players to let go. One player that could be on the move is Nene (Maybyner Rodney Hilario).
However, dealing away the 37-year-old is easier said than done. Nene has yet to play this season that complicates things, USA Today reported. With that said, who would be willing to take in his $2.6 million deal if he is unable to suit up? The 7th overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft has been away from the team due to a chronic strain to his left adductor. Even if he was healthy, Nene would be the fourth option for head coach Mike D’Antoni. Clint Capela, Isaiah Hartenstein, and Tyson Chandler are the ones mostly being used this season.
Either way, Nene’s case is something the Rockets are expected to address soon. The fact is that Houston is above the NBA luxury-tax line and dispatching Nene would be of great help. If there are no takers, the Rockets are more likely to end up waiving him if no deal happens.
Part of Nene’s current deal is a second-year option for the next NBA season. If he is not waived before Feb. 15, his contract becomes fully guaranteed, David Weiner pointed out. And based on his analysis, it seems that this is likely to happen.
The Rockets purposely structured Nene’s contract as a TWO-year deal in order to avoid that very issue. The second year is non-guaranteed as long as Nene is waived by Feb. 15, 2020 (which he will be). https://t.co/0jGVEdUFwK
— David Weiner (@BimaThug) September 11, 2019
It seems pretty clear that the Rockets gave Nene a deal with the purpose of eventually trading him. It is something that Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has done in the past. This was back in January 2019 when he struck a pair of deals that saw Carmelo Anthony and Michael Carter-Williams going to Chicago. As most know, both were eventually served their walking papers. The same scenario looms for Nene.
The Rockets do have options on the table. Among the players they could trade for include Wesley Matthews, Josh Hart, Malik Beasley, and John Collins, Fansided suggested. Whoever it may be, something may go down as early as Jan. 15, the date when Nene can be traded away by Houston.