The Washington Wizards Should Sign Nene, NOW

4:30 PM, Dec 8, 2011   |    comments
Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins (5) defends the advance to the basket by Denver Nuggets center Nene Hilario (31) during the first quarter of game four of the 2011 NBA playoffs at Pepsi Center. (Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE)
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WASHINGTON (The Wiz Kid/WUSA) -- This situation happened to everyone in high school. You begin to develop feelings for that good-looking girl who inevitably is out of your league. Long wavy blonde hair, a dancer's body, the perfect smile. You daydream constantly about the thought of you two being together and the impacts it would have: A rise in your reputation around school, a boost in self-confidence, finally making your parents proud.

Then you wake up from the daydream and realize that ideal situation won't happen anytime soon. 

That's exactly what it feels like to be a Wizards fan with likes of Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, (insert any superstar here) who wouldn't even consider Washington a top 15 destination for their services. Those are the type of players you have to have to team up with John Wall in order to become a mainstay atop the eastern conference. 

It gets worse though. While the Wizards have cap room, roughly 19 million dollars to work with, it seems highly unlikely the Wiz can even convince B-level free agents to come to our nation's capital. 

There's one guy I think general manager Ernie Grunfeld should heavily chase. Nene. 

The Denver Nugget center is going to come at a hefty price -- allegedly 60 million over four years. But the Wizards are one of the few teams who can afford him. He's a 29-year-old fringe all-star and can live up to that contract. He led the league in field goal percentage last year with 61.5 and posted 14.5 boards and 7.6 rebounds a game. 

Here are the reasons why Nene is the best option for the Wizards: 

A) Is it worth it to wait for next offseason and miss out on Andrew Bynum (team option), Kevin Love (restricted), Brook Lopez (restricted), Gerald Wallace, Mehmet Okur or Kevin Garnett? I have a feeling the Wizards would miss out on all of those guys and regret not picking up Nene when he was available. 

B) It's better to draft a young scoring guard to team up with Wall rather than drafting a big man. Big men are busts all the time, and are too risky to take high in the draft. Hasheem Thabeet, Greg Oden, Darko Milicic, Kwame Brown. I could go on-and-on. It's a safer option to pickup a free agent center. 

C) Look around at the dominant teams in the east. Miami and New York can be exposed by a center like Nene. Dwight Howard is on his way out of Orlando. Nene can give Joakim Noah problems. 

D) Teams that don't have a solid post presence generally stink. Raptors, Bobcats, Cavs, T-Wolves etc. 

E) Current center JaVale McGee could be shopped for a draft pick or even kept on as a defensive specialist in a big lineup with Nene. He's only taking up 2.4 million in salary this season.

F) Nene can help John Wall blossom even further. Giving Wall a legitimate weapon NOW, as ooposed to gambling and waiting a year for a different option, will only develop his game further. 

I bet such a move is barely even being contemplated by the Wizards front office, but in reality it makes the most sense. Nene might garner the Wizards an eight seed in the playoffs and attract other veterans to come and play in DC. 

If no move for Nene is made, Wizards fans can continue to daydream about star players they'll never have.

You've got questions about the NBA. I've got answers

Q: Where will Dwight Howard land? 


Here are the two rumors surrounding the NBA's alien-like creature. First, he wants to play in a warm weather city. If you follow Howard on Twitter -- which I don't recommend because of how annoying he is -- you can tell the 7-footer is awfully interested in becoming not just a larger basketball superstar, but a permanent fixture in Hollywood. The second rumor about Howard is that he is emotionally fragile, not a surprising nugget if you've watched him play over the years. Howard can't handle a backlash of negative press like Carmelo Anthony received from the Denver media during his trade-saga last season. 

If Orlando is smart, they'll deal Howard just before the start of the season. The Magic may be able to swing Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest). That's much better than holding on to Howard and praying that he stays in the smaller Orlando market. 

As for the Lakers, they've always won championships when they've had a dominant big man. If the decision comes down to signing either Howard or Chris Paul, the choice is obvious. Players who are worse versions of Howard don't exist, while finding a serviceable point guard is quite easy these days. 

Q: Where will Chris Paul land? 

A: Clippers ... but don't rule out the Knicks.

Hornets general manager Dell Demps is in no rush to pull the trigger on a trade. It's a complicated situation because Paul's dream scenario is to play in Madison Square Garden, but the Knicks have very little to offer. The rest of the suitors for arguably the NBA's best point guard include the Lakers, Warriors, Celtics, Thunder and Clippers. If one of those franchise's struggles out of the gates, they could ante an offer for Paul that's even sweeter than the trades being dangled right now. 

Paul is a free agent in July, meaning that the Hornets must trade him to a place where he would consider resigning. That eliminates Golden State (no tradition), Oklahoma City (too small), Boston (too old) and the Lakers (assuming they nab Howard). 

That leaves the Clippers. L.A. is a big enough market for Paul. Blake Griffin is a big enough star to play Robin alongside CP3 as Batman. Plus the Clippers have an abundance of young ammunition to trade. 

Again though, Paul only wants to play for the Knicks. Right now a trade to New York seems like it won't work, but a Cinderella type of deal at midnight could be struck. 

Q: Who will the Bulls pick up? 

A: Jason Richardson and Caron Butler 

When the Bulls lost to the Heat in the eastern conference finals last spring, the very apparent problem was scoring. As amazing as Derrick Rose is, he can't try and take it the lane every single time.

Enter Richardson (30) and Butler (31). Richardson is the better scorer of the two and gives the Bulls a veteran clutch three-point shooter to rely on instead of Ronnie Brewer. Butler's game at the small forward position is exceptional too. His baseline driving would free up the extremely overrated Carlos Boozer around the basket. Note that both of these players would have to come at a discounted price. 

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