Nene Hilario has got his payday from the Nuggets, to the tune of $60m over 6 years. That’s an average of $10m per season for a player who has averaged 10.7 ppg and 6.2 rpg to date in his career. I’m not so much shocked by the amount of money, it’s more the number of years that the Nuggets have committed to him for. 6 years at that rate is a big call for a guy who is all about potential (he hasn’t produced $10m-per results yet) and is coming off a season riddled by serious injury.
Nene: “I want to be like (Karl) Malone”
Nuggets Director of Player Personnel: “We want you to be like Malone also”
In turn, the Nuggets have allowed the time to match the Spurs’ offer sheet to Francisco Elson lapse. This now gives the Spurs a solid backup rotation in the frontcourt with starters Duncan and (most frequently) Horry being backed up by Matt Bonner (previously acquired from Toronto in the Nesterovic trade along with Eric Williams), Jackie Butler (New York elected not to match an offer sheet made by the Spurs) and Fabricio Oberto.
Does this stack up to the combination of Nesterovic and Nazr? In the short term, no. However Butler is a very solid prospect who managed to be a bright spark in a very strained situation in NYC last season and Bonner adds some range – something the Spurs love in their offence.