Rockets’ Nene plans to retire after season

Dan Feldman
NBC Sports

Nene and the Rockets couldn’t execute the contract they agreed to last summer, because he was too old.

The deal violated the NBA’s over-38 rule and had to be redone.

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That’s a decent sign the 36-year-old might be nearing the end of his career.

ESPN, via Google Translate:

In an interview with the NBA Freestyle program , Nenê, the Houston Rockets pivot , said he intends to retire at the end of the NBA season .

Nene was the first Brazilian player to stick more than one year in the NBA. And he lasted far longer than that. He has been a solid big man for 17 years with the Nuggets, Wizards and Rockets.

Never an All-Star, he played like one in spurts. He probably peaked in the 2014 first round, leading Washington to a 4-1 series upset of the Bulls.

His lasting legacy might be the “Nene test,” a term coined by Danny Leroux and Amin Elhassan to assess whether a player’s contract will hold positive trade value. In 2011, Denver re-signed Nene to a five-year, $67 million deal. Within the first season of that contract, the Nuggets dealt him to the Wizards for JaVale McGee. It seemed Denver never wanted to keep Nene, but wanted to get value for him – and did (or at least thought it did).

Now, Nene holds a $3,825,360 player option for next season. The cost-conscious Rockets probably wouldn’t mind having that off their books.

In the meantime, Nene will still provide occasional size off the bench for a Houston team trying to get past the Warriors.

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