That is the question. Is it better to keep a player who is a good player and sometimes when motivated a very effective player with hopes of signing to an extension? Or trade now a NBA legit big who, by most trusted and informed accounts, did not develop into the type of impact player his skill and athleticism suggested.
Nene, according to the press, has expressed an interest in staying in Denver. Nene, according to the press, has also expressed a list of teams, including... what a surprise... Miami, he'd like to be traded to if he was traded.
Being a NBA "Footer"... or near Footer in this case, Nene will have genuine value and interest in the Free Agent market this summer, regardless of the CBA. Being a non-elite player, Nene is also not likely to get a FA paycheck much bigger that what he's slated to get if he doesn't opt out (approx $11m). Is Nene an impact player? Would his cost be worth keeping him as one of the leftover "core" players the Nuggets would start re-building with?
While Nene may want to go to Miami, the Heat cannot build through anymore trades. They have no tradeable commodities on the roster and they burned up a large allottment of 1st round picks in the LeBron & Bosh sign&trades. The Heat's only hope at true team greatness is a FA friendly CBA and maybe the continuance of the Mid-Level Exception to add more good to very good players around the big 3.
Who could the Nuggets trade Nene to? A Nene trade won't have the dumpster fire circus of the absurd that the Nuggets Front Office have been operating under. Nene has value but is not an elite player; he's still young and his cap value is not huge. A good and fair deal can be made where everyone wins. The trade partner will need to be a good team (for Nene to want to re-sign with) be a team who believe they are a C or PF away from a title, and have trade pieces (draft picks, young cheap good players, cap room) that would interest Denver.
One option... arch rival Oklahoma City. You hate to trade in your division; but if Denver makes such a deal it is shortly after Melo is traded and the Nuggets season for all intents is over. Say maybe Nene for Jeff Green and Serge Ibaka? Jeff Green is a young good player but not really a legit PF. The Thunder it is believed are not planning to give Green the big payday. Though not a legit PF, Green is a good young player would be a very good addition to the Nuggets. Ibaka is young, good sized and demonstrating to be an effective role-playing big. For a re-building team he may be a starting Center, or maybe starting PF; but definitly would be a big who could be counted on minutes and effort.
Throw in about $3.5m in cap filler or maybe Trade Exception since the Thunder are a few million beneath the salary cap... and a deal is in place.
No you can't do Nene for Granger because Nene doesn't want to go to the Pacers; no you can't do Nene to the Wolves for Love because neither Nene nor the Wolves are that stupid. No you can't to the Heat because Miami has nothing to trade for. You can also throw out the Nyets, Pistons, Cavs, Raptors, Lakers, Bulls and most other teams too for any combination of the following reasons: 1)Nene won't sign an extension with a bad team 2)A team that can't keep Nene won't want to trade for him unless they thought they could roll him over into another deal and 3)The Nuggets wisely won't trade Nene to a team unless they can get something in return that they want.
Houston though, with their draft choices, could also be a trade partner option.