It’s not surprising the Rockets re-signed him.
Nene, 34, played in 67 games (eight starts) for the Houston Rockets during the 2016-17 regular season, averaging 9.1 points and 4.2 rebounds while providing energy and physicality off the team’s bench. And after Nene was lost for the postseason in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs, the Rockets promptly lost the next two games and were eliminated.
Plus, the veteran center wanted to return to Houston, as he told Feigen in May:
“Of course I expect (to be back). That’ll depend on me. I did my job. I just leave it for the coaches, the general manager, my agent. Of course, I’d like to be back. This place, was a blessing for me. They brought me back. They brought the real Nene back. When you’re happy. When you feel good. When you’re engaged, people know you’re work, of course you want to be back.
“I’ve been through a lot of situations. Here, I got young. I got healthy. And I got happy. Of course, I want to be back.”
Despite the fact that Clint Capela emerged as a solid starting center and the Rockets are comfortable sliding Ryan Anderson to center when the team goes small, Nene still has value. Though he can no longer log starter’s minutes, his effort and experience should once again provide a spark for the Rockets in the 2017-18 season.
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