The New Jersey Nets have entered a dizzying state. One minute they are the preferred destination for Dwight Howard, the next they are potential targets of tampering charges. And now, the Nets are reportedly closing in on a deal with desired free-agent center Nene.
Sources told the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy that the Nets ratcheted up their pursuit of Nene after reports that Tyson Chandler will sign a four-year $58-million deal with the New York Knicks.
One report indicated that the Nets will offer Nene a four-year deal worth as much as $65 million. Nene is considered one of the top free agents on the market, and perhaps the very best. The 6-foot-11, 250-pounder is an efficient offensive center who has been a pillar of consistency the past three seasons, averaging between 13.8-14.6 points and 7.6-7.8 rebounds per game. He has been durable during that time, too, at least during the regular season, playing at least 75 games each year. Still, he does come with injury concerns, mostly stemming from a pair of balky knees.
Just 29 years old, Nene should be entering the prime of his career if he can remain healthy. The Nets could also be hoping that signing Nene also has secondary benefits, such as helping to convince Deron Williams to remain a Net after this season.