Could Nene Accept Max from Denver?
(Tyson) Chandler appears unlikely to return to Dallas, in large part because of the Mavericks’ insistence on preserving their payroll for next year’s free-agent crop and because of Chandler’s increasing involvement in the Chris Paul saga in New Orleans. But a source with knowledge of the situation said the prospect of Nene returning to Denver remains entirely possible — if not probable — for the exact opposite reason.
Nene, who recently expressed disappointment over the Nuggets’ reluctance to offer an extension until late last season, met extensively with Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri on Monday and had what was characterized as a positive meeting. And while a serious discussion on contract terms didn’t transpire, the team — which is likely to have more than $20 million in salary cap room at its disposal — is in a prime position to land the nine-year veteran so long as they offer a five-year deal.
Per the new rules of the soon-to-be ratified collective bargaining agreement, the Nuggets are the only team able to give Nene a five-year deal with 7.5 percent raises while the rest of the league could only offer four-year deals with 4.5 percent raises. Were he able to land a maximum-salary deal (which appears unlikely), that would mean approximately $102.8 million in Denver as opposed to the four-year, $75.7 million deal he’d sign elsewhere.