Stein: Nuggets, Nene reach deal

Nene Smile
Sources: This is currently Nene's facial expression.

According to Marc Stein of ESPN, The Nuggets have agreed to a five-year, $67 million contract with free agent center Nene. This comes on the heels of reports that the Nets had offered Nene a four-year contract worth somewhere between $60 and $70 million earlier this week. Signing Nene also means less money for the Nuggets to retain Arron Afflalo.

This is the second time this offseason the Nets have reportedly offered more money to a free agent, only to have him choose a different location. The Nets allegedly offered Caron Butler $30 million over four years, only to lose Butler to a three-year, $24 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. Five years at $67 million, assuming standard raises, means a starting salary of around $11.7 million for the 29-year-old center and presumed king of the 2011 free agency market.

Nene was one of the major Nets targets throughout free agency, but at five years and $67 million, I’m sure he’ll be happy to stay in Denver. I wasn’t a fan of Nene’s fit next to Brook Lopez, even less so at that prohibitive price.

Of course, this means the Nets must set their sights elsewhere to find help in the interior. Hint, hint.