With the San Antonio Spurs needing a solid big man, many San Antonio Spurs fans were looking at Denver Nuggets’ Nene as a possible pick up in the off-season to address this need. Well don’t hold your breath Spurs fans. The Nuggets are very adamant about offering Nene an extension this summer, and making him the focal part of the team.
In two recent articles by the Denver Post, Dave Krieger and Benjamin Hochman give their incites as to why the Nuggets are looking to Nene as their future. Krieger has word from Denver’s general manager Masai Ujiri on their intentions to resign Nene.
Over the past month, Ujiri has met with Nene, who has an $11.6 million player option for next season, and Afflalo, who will be a restricted free agent. He has also met with their agents.
A month ago, Nene intimated to my colleague Chris Dempsey that he felt unappreciated in Denver and might test the market. Hired in August, Ujiri admits the drama surrounding Anthony dominated his attention.
“We were caught up in a storm,” he said. “We acknowledge that. In our minds, we feel like Nene has always been a huge priority, and we want him to always be a Denver Nugget. We do apologize if he felt in any way like he was put on the side.”
One of the Nuggets’ selling points could be a chance for Nene to return to his natural power forward position, at least some of the time, with 7-footers Mozgov and Kosta Koufos now on the roster.
“That is definitely something we want to look at,” Ujiri said. “You have to not only make use of the size we’ve acquired, but also grow the guys we’ve acquired.”
Hochman wrote a piece on which draft prospects the Nuggets are looking to select at the 22nd position and also mentioned that the teams intentions are to provide a complimentary player to Nene.
Karl is confident the Nuggets will extend Nene’s contract. But even if Martin re-signs, the Nuggets will take a long look at the low-post prospects.
For Spurs fans hoping that Nene will look at San Antonio, or the Spurs front office make overtures towards the big man from Brazil, the chances appear to be very slim. Denver will be looking to offer Nene the extension and make him their franchise corner stone.
The three options that are looking more evident everyday for the Spurs are a.) the growth of Tiago Splitter, b.) The possibility of Ryan Richards coming to the states, or c.) the NBA draft.