NBA Free Agent Rumors: Nene Is Best Option for New Jersey Nets

Brandon PutreContributor IDecember 4, 2011

DENVER, CO - APRIL 23:  Nene #31 of the Denver Nuggets scores against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center on April 23, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

It is no secret that the New Jersey Nets need to a make a big move in free agency.  The Nets roster contains many holes that need to be filled, but with this particular crop of free agents, perhaps their best move is a "big" move.

Nene, the Denver Nuggets power forward/center, is set to be become a free agent when free agency begins on December 9th and is widely anticipated to be the most sought after player on the market. 

The Brazilian big man, currently 29 years old, averaged 14.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and one block last season during arguably his best year in the pros. Sporting a flashy 20.46 PER, Nene established himself as one of the best all-around centers in the league.

On the offensive side of the floor, Nene boasts one of the soundest sets of post skills in the league, and certainly the best out of all free-agent centers. Adding Nene to the Nets frontcourt alongside Brook Loopez would give opposing defenses nightmares. 

Nene also provides consistent defense and rebounding, something the Nets did not receive from Brook Lopez last season. Regressing from 8.7 to 5.9 rebounds per game last year, Lopez began to be labeled as a soft center. Yet, there were seemingly no complaints when Lopez drained finesse hook shots with the most skillful touch on the other end of the floor.

Adding a big man with defensive prowess like Nene would stabilize the Nets frontcourt, eliminating the need for a heavily defense-oriented power forward like Kris Humphries.

Nene might not be at the defensive level of Tyson Chandler or Marc Gasol, other notable free agents, but his all-around game should definitely warrant a spot at the top of the team's list.

While the dream scenario for the Nets organization involves trading Brook Lopez for Dwight Howard, signing Nene to complement their fourth-year center is an option that should not be overlooked. It will give the Nets one of the strongest frontcourts in the league, while also allowing them to keep their draft picks in order to build for the future.

Coupled with another solid signing to upgrade the roster, the addition of Nene on a long-term deal could greatly impact Deron William’s decision to sign a long-term deal of his own, which is the ultimate goal of the franchise.

Brandon Putre is a Featured Columnist for the New Jersey Nets. Follow him on Twitter @Cortezisreal