Nene will return to the Denver Nuggets on a five-year, $67 million deal, Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri confirmed Tuesday evening to David Aldridge. After Marc Gasol re-signed with the Grizzlies and Tyson Chandler landed with the Knicks, Nene was the top remaining free agent on the market.
No fewer than six other teams were chasing him at one point or another. The Rockets were certainly interested after their offer sheet for Gasol was matched by the Grizzlies, but in the end Nene's decision came down to the Nets and Nuggets. The Nuggets were always in position to offer the biggest package, as they were the only team who could guarantee a fifth year as well as offer the largest raises from one season to the next.
"We've been grinding all along," Ujiri said. "Nene was our guy and we stayed the course and got through it. Nene wanted to stay home. He wanted to test free agency, but at the end of the day he wanted to stay home and play for the Nuggets. Nene will be a good player for us for a long time."
Ujiri also said that the Nuggets have made recent progress trying to re-sign restricted free agent Arron Afflalo. "We're moving, and it's going good," he said. "He's our final piece. We're going to close and try to make sure we get that done. He's a huge part of our team."