Rockets GM Daryl Morey makes Nene signing official on Instagram
Nene is officially remaining a member of the Houston Rockets. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey shared a photo of the center signing on the dotted line on Friday afternoon.
The 36-year-old also shared a photo on Instagram, grinning and posing with the Houston executive.
Nene, a 6-foot-11 center and power forward, joined the Rockets in 2016, signing as a free agent during the offseason. He was originally a seventh overall selection in the 2002 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks before being traded to the Denver Nuggets on draft night in a deal that brought Antonio McDyess to the Big Apple.
Nene spent the formative portion of his NBA career with the Nuggets, playing in nine-plus seasons in Denver before being traded to the Washington Wizards. After four-and-a-half years in the nation’s capital, Nene joined the Rockets three summers ago.
Not too long ago it was unclear whether Nene, who turns 37 years old in a week, would stay with Houston, retire, or sign elsewhere. 25-year-old Clint Capela is the starting center and Nene has only started in 14 of his 161 regular-season appearances with the Rockets. Apparently content with his current role, Nene will continue backing up Capela in Clutch City.
It has been a strange offseason for the Rockets, who shipped veteran point guard Chris Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder after only two seasons with the franchise. Houston acquired Paul in a sign-and-trade with the Los Angeles Clippers in June 2017 and re-signed with the franchise last summer. Now, the aging floor general is with OKC while Rockets star James Harden as a new (and old) backcourt mate in Russell Westbrook.
Should Nene perform well as a backup big, the Rockets could be looking at a conference finals berth next spring.