Posted by Royce Young
Just as his name was beginning to surface in semi-wild trade rumors, according to Chris Tomasson of Twitter.com, Nene is nearing an extension with the Nuggets.
Sources tell Tomasson that Nene's agent, Dan Fegan, is deep into discussions with Denver and is optimistic a deal will get done by June 30. Reportedly, Nene's preference is to remain in Denver instead of opting out of his contract June 30 and testing the free agent market.
Nene is set to make $11.6 million next season but can sign a three-year extension keeping him in Denver through 2015. Currently, he's in his native Brazil but is expected back next week. Meaning if there's real momentum here, he could be walking back to sign a new contract.
Obviously, the Nuggets are committed to making Nene one of their cornerstone players. He's one of the league's most talented big men and, at just 28, he's still got some good time in his prime left. Last season, he averaged 14.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game on a career-high 61.5 percent shooting from the field. And that's with him not really being a focal point of the offense until the last third of the season.
Give Nene time on the block as Denver's No. 1 or 2 option and he's a legit 18-8 threat. Maybe even a 20-point per game guy. He's got talent. And he knows it. Which is why if the Nuggets want to keep him through 2015, they're going to have to be willing to pay.
Evidently, they are.