BREAKING: Nene re-signs for at least $67 million

According to Marc Stein, who has been all over Nuggets rumors today, Nene has re-signed with the Nuggets for five years at at least $67 million.

I can’t even begin to describe how awesome this is right now. Like it or not, Nene deserved this type of money. He has showed great loyalty to this organization and I’m glad to see he’s been handsomely rewarded yet again. If the Nuggets are now able to re-sign Afflalo, they will have had the best off-season of any team in the NBA by my estimation.

And this is where things get interesting.

Just before I found out Nene re-signed I was working on a 3-on-3 piece in which one of the questions was, “Smart or not smart: The Nuggets should re-sign Nene even if it means giving him a maximum-level contract.” As I was working on my response I knew I wanted to point out the fact that giving Nene a few million more each season would surely not make or break the Nuggets’ future. So, as I headed on over to Google and entered, “New Jersey Nets Nene contract offer” (which is still in my little Google toolbar by the way — I think I might just keep it there forever) I was surprised by the number of links that claimed Nene had re-signed with the Nuggets. Me being me, I naturally just dismissed these as old news from Nene’s first big contract offer he signed with the Nuggets after his rookie contact expired in the early part of the decade. So, there I was sifting through all kids of link titles trying to find out how much his offer from the Nets was — before it finally clicked.

I then took to my Twitter account describing my reaction.

“Holy sh*t, holy sh*t, holy sh*t — NENE RE-SIGNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Looking at the terms, it amazes me how Masai Ujiri got this deal done. Nene seemed furious towards the Nuggets after the season ended for not offering him a contract earlier on in the year. He felt disrespected and seemed determined to find a different franchise that would treat him the way he felt he deserved to be treated. Perhaps all this was summed up best in an interview he did with Yahoo!Sports’ Marc J. Spears in which he stated the following:

I learned last season that this was a business… It was very stressful for me and I don’t want to go through this in my career anymore… When the season was over they didn’t offer me nothing good… They did what was best for them, and now I need to do what is best for me… God put me in this opportunity to be one of the top players in free agency, and I’m going to take advantage of it… It’s not about the money… I need help. I need good players around.

Who’s to say what changed Nene’s mind. Word on the street — now that he’s reached an agreement to stay in Denver, of course — is that he never wanted to leave in the first place. And though there’s no doubt that Nene probably had reservations about leaving the same state where he’d lived for years and met his beloved wife in, it just didn’t seem that way judging by his comments in the media.

What I will say is this: Masai Ujiri has done nothing but work miracles since his arrival in Denver roughly one year ago. First it was the Melo Drama. Throwing any rookie GM in that mess seemed to be a recipe for disaster. But Masai preached a mantra of patients and when the dust settled, turned the most sour, rotten lemon in the world into a luxurious, ice-cold glass of pure lemonade heaven (spiked of course).

Then came the draft. Everywhere in Denver there was wild speculation among Nuggets fans. There was just no way, after years of incompetence, that we finally had a GM who not only could handle trades, but draft well too. Somehow Roundball’s dream prospect, Kenneth Faried, slipped all the way to No. 21 where the Blazers had been clamoring about drafting him for months. And though it seemed impossible, that Faried would slip through the Blazers’ grasp, Masai again cajoled his opponent into giving him what he so desperately wanted. The Blazers miraculously passed on Faried (which had to be part the deal in my opinion) and selected Nolan Smith instead. That — that was the icing on the cake in terms of Masai’s coming out party in Denver.

But now this? After all the doom and gloom, the talk of rebuilding, speculation about Nene never even considering returning and most recently of Afflalo maybe not re-signing as well? This is what we get? Everything we could have hoped for?

I’m stunned. I’m amazed. I’m thrilled. I’m damn-well excited about my team and the direction we’re going. Rebuilding should be the last word on Nuggets’ fans tongues right now, because as long as we have Masai Ujiri, we also have faith that this team will continue to compete through thick and thin, no matter how ominous the circumstances appear to be.

Tim Tebow may be taking over the Mile High City as we speak, but Masai Ujiri is the one working the miracles.

(Now if we can just re-sign that Afflalo guy…)

  • Tommy4daNuggz4ever

    I can’t believe it I am soo happy now for AAA and can you follow me on twitter @ThomasDenverFan that would be awsome

  • Klules

    OK, I will now retract my prediction on getting Dalembert. :-) Now can we please wrap up AAA?

  • Matt Henry

    I would’ve preferred that they trade him, but looking at the market this probably was the best decision.

  • G4553N

    Thank god. Now please sign triple A.
    Are their any other possibilities in big signings
    In the future? I mean what good will Fernandez
    And brewer be?

    • Matt Henry

      Fernandez’s primary use will be as the new target for Karl’s frustration after Smith leaves. Brewer will probably be a glue guy

    • Adam

      @Peter How good will Brewer and Fernandez be? For a second round draft pick, the bar can be very low, and we still win. Brewer is the key pick up, he brings size, and lots of potential. I am feeling very good now about the Nuggets.

      • John

        Adam, if you are right, and Brewer becomes more important than Fernandez, Masai is starting to remind me of Columbo (old 70′s detective show). He would always question the key suspect, and just when we thought he was done, we would return and ask one offhand question that was the key to the case.

        If Mazgov and Brewer turn out, I have this impression of Masai in negotiations. “Yea, we’ll take Fernandez for a 2nd round pick and help you out. Oh, by the way, could you throw in Brewer?”

  • Peter

    Brewer and Fernandez will be good backup players this season. With the shortened season and all the back to backs, management has done a good job of filling up the roster with players that are capable of playing a lot of minutes.

  • G4553N

    I guess it makes sense.
    Another, what is happening with Wilson chandler?
    I realize that Martin and jr are
    Done with but what happens with chandler?

    • Adam

      @G4553N We have to wait until Chandler comes back from China, he is under contract, and can’t get out of it until March. Chandler should come back.

  • Rog

    If we keep Chandler and sign AAA we will have 17 players under contract including Harrington. Can’t keep ‘em all. Another move coming?

    • Kalen

      Good point. You’d have to think between Chandler and Harrington that one of those guys gets dealt. Or maybe Hamilton, keeping Chandler as the backup instead? Either way, we have tooooo many good small forwards on this team right now not to make a move.

      • Rog

        With all the back to back games this year it’s good to have so many youngsters, but I still think GC will have a regular rotation and they’ll be some talented kids stuck on the end of the bench.

  • Michael (anotheraussienuggzfan)

    Denver have basically nabbed Andre Miller, Jordan Hamilton, Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer for Ray Felton and a 2nd Round Pick.

    Gotta be impressed with the Front Office!

  • Erlingur Gretar

    I like it, especially since he’ll hopefully start playing PF now instead of center. Now we need Mozgov and Koufos to be able to cover at least 35-40 mins a game, combined, and sign AAA, and we suddenly have a reeally nice depth chart:

    C: Mozgov – Koufos – Andersen
    PF: Nene – Faried – Carroll
    SF: Gallinari – Brewer – Harrington
    SG: Afflalo – Fernandez – Hamilton
    PG: Lawson – Miller – Higgins

    • mitch

      not sure why you put koufos, who has never played a meaningful minute in his life, ahead of bird…

      • https://twitter.com/#!/C_Stock20 C_Stock20

        Also, Carroll and Big Al should be flip-flopped, and Higgins isn’t even under contract and Stone is…

        • Erlingur Gretar

          Yeah, sorry, flipped Higgins and Stone in my mind for some reason. Brainfart there. And I put Brewer ahead of Harrington because Brewer plays defense and Harrington doesn’t.

          • https://twitter.com/#!/C_Stock20 C_Stock20

            But Harrington is a PF and Carroll is a SF (Nit-picking here sorry). I’m really hoping that Harrington gets amnestied.

            • Erlingur Gretar

              That’s right. What’s wrong with me today?

              But yeah, about Koufos over Bird: Bird’s a fan favorite and all, but Koufos has been working hard this summer on improving himself, and we’re talking about 10 mins. pr. game here, anyway. A normal game would see something like this in terms of playing time:

              C: Mozgov 25 – Koufos 10 – Nene 8 – Bird 5
              PF: Nene 25 – Faried 13 – Harrington 10
              SF: Gallinari 35 – Brewer 10 – Fernandez 3
              SG: Afflalo 30 – Fernandez 18
              PG: Lawson 30 – Miller 18

              Carroll is a security at SF and Stone at the G positions.

              Of course, Koufos could fail to even play that many minutes, and then we need to bolster the frontcourt in case Faried isn’t ready for more minutes at the PF while Nene covers the C.

              If the team stays healthy we wouldn’t need anyone to play more than 35 minutes a night, have solid backup playing around 20 minutes when everyone’s healthy so they’ll be able to cover for more minutes when someone goes down. Which is bound to happen in this crazy tight season.

              That’s a playoff team IMO, and with expiring contracts, Harrington’s amnesty possibilities and the insanely deep draft next year, this team is poised to make a splash in both acquiring good players through free agency, great players through trades and good rookies next summer.

              Just sign AAA already.

  • Rog

    You forgot Julyan Stone and Harrington unless he’s ammnestied

  • K

    I am worried about Karl dishing out these minutes. Assuming AA comes back, our backcourt should clearly be AA and Lawson. But miller is one of Karl’s favorite players. Hopefully he doesn’t try and run so many sets like he did with Lawson and Felton last year. Does that mean AA goes to the bench? And if that’s true , when does Rudy f get his minutes? Or Corey brewer? Wasn’t j Hamilton suppose to replace some of jrs minutes? I think it’s important to get Hamilton and especially faired some meaningful minutes. Hopefully they amnesty Harrington or have some trade with him,Rudy f, and brewer in the works. It’s great to have so much depth but I feel it’s too many toys for George Karl.

  • chronicnugs

    Great night to be a nuggets fan. Nene gets paid, but not a completely outrageous amount. we get a quality big and bolstered depth care of the mavericks.

    once again, masai proves that he is the best executive in denver sports. kalen, youre faith is paying off.

    just a fantastic night.

  • Beau

    I love these moves that the Nuggs are making. This NBA season is all about depth. With 66 games and so many back-to-backs with a couple back-to-back-to-backs it is huge to have fresh players who can compete. When teams like the Heat are sporting second squads like Norris Cole, Mike Miller, Battier, Haslem, and Juwan Howard on the 4th game in 5 nights then it will be that much more weight the Big 3 will have to carry.
    Considering the Nuggets can boast a second unit of Andre Miller, Fernandez, Brewer, Faried, Harrington, Chandler (hopefully) and Birdman, I really like our odds to steal some games when other starters might take the night off.

    • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Charlie

      Unfortunately, Nuggets were in no position to decide what the fair price for Nene would be. That is dictated by the market. And with Kwame Brown and DeAndre Jordan getting as much as they did – Masai took a calculated risk to not let the market dictate this team’s future

  • Rog

    You gotta love how tall we are now and that all the new guys play defense. We’ll be able to switch on screens and throw different defenders at the Kevin Durants of the world. GC wants our offense to start with defense. Merry Christmas!

  • LT

    Am I the only one who thinks we paid too much for Nene? a 14 and 7 guy for 13 mil a year for 5 years? really? Now we are stuck with him playing small in big games and bricking free throws in the playoffs…

    Secondly, too much depth and not enough playing time will create issues unless we are winning. So if we are not winning, watch out…

    Also interested to see how GK will handle PT distribution

  • Sam

    Absolutely love this signing. Yes, we overpaid him, yes, Nene’s numbers aren’t even close to being worth this amount of money. But, but, but – look at the market. Who else were we going to sign? Marc Gasol? Taken. Dwight Howard? *chuckles*.

    Currently, the demand for big men is high as ever. I mean, the Clippers signed Dandre Jordan (one of the worst offensive players in the league) to a 43 MILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT OVER 4 YEARS. He will make more than $10M a year! Absolutely nuts. Not even worth half that IMO.

    Nene can def. be frustrating at times (only 7 rpg for a 6’11 guy), but just his presence makes us stronger in the paint. We NEEDED him back.

    I have seen some tweets that said Nene declined a 4 year $70 million offer from the Nets to re-sign with the Nuggets. Not sure if it’s true but props to Nene showing loyalty if that’s what happened.

  • Sam

    Good point by Rog. Now we have 17 players on the roster! I would trade Andre Miller & Al Harrington. I don’t think Miller will like being Ty’s backup. I mean, he’s a proven veteran player & good enough to be a starter. If we can trade him for another PF, this team would be complete.

    And don’t even get me started on how much I dislike Al Harrington. Trade him for a bag of chips for all I care!

  • Alex

    Don’t know if there will be any takers out there for Harrington. I like how the team is coming together. The one problem with the above scenario is that there is no way Andre Miller will be happy with 18 minutes a night. While he would certainly be a great backup to Ty, I think we may have to deal him for maybe a pg prospect and a 2nd rounder. Are there any teams out there desperate for a veteran PG?

  • Colby

    I am liking where the Nuggets are at now as long as they resign Arron. I think that it is great that they have so much depth now. That means they can trade away some assets and still be in good shape, and I think that they should do just that. I think they should go after someone like Josh Smith. He could definitely help out with the rebounding and block numbers that Nene somewhat lacks on. If Masai figured out away to get this done, I would be even more estatic.

    • aussienuggsfan

      Bring in j smoove . Needs fresh start and would thrive in our up tempo system. If people think they would rather gallinari over josh smith than they are crazy. He would give us more defense, rebounding and versatility. For eg he could start at sf and pf in crunch time with nene at C. He showed in the playoff he can become beastly and take over games

  • k

    karl has publicly stated that he wants to play miller and lawson together at times. Miller has said “no comment” more or less about coming off the bench. karl is raving about miller’s veterean leadership. Does no one else see this as a problem? Assuming we sign AAA back to a big contract is Karl really going to sit him to play 2 pg’s together? and where does that leave rudy F? There is no way Rudy F (who always complains about his minutes) and miller will be happy. This team needs to grow and have a good locker room. I think this season will show if karl can really coach or not

    • aussienuggsfan

      Not keen on George Karl. Don’t like to two pg thing and is unjustifiably keen of mozgov and koufos. He thinks having a front line of mozgov, nene and gallo would be intimidating because of their length but last time I checked mozgov and gallo aren’t exactly Ben Wallace and bill lambier