NBA Free Agency 2017 Player Profile: Nene

Apr 25, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Nene Hilario (42) smiles after making a basket agains the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first half in game five of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Nene Hilario (42) smiles after making a basket agains the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first half in game five of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jan 18, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Nene Hilario (42) takes the ball to the basket as Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) defends during the third quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 18, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Nene Hilario (42) takes the ball to the basket as Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) defends during the third quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

Fit With Bucks

A lot of Nene’s potential fit with Milwaukee depends on what the Bucks front office does this summer. If Greg Monroe sticks around, it doesn’t make much sense to add Nene, unless John Henson gets dealt in a deal that doesn’t return a center.

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With Thon Maker figuring to start from here on out, Milwaukee would need to lose one of Henson or Moose to add Nene. Assuming there is a spot in the big man rotation for him, the pairing of Nene and the Bucks could certainly work out.

Especially if it’s Monroe that is no longer with the team, Nene makes for a decent replacement on the cheap. He’ll probably miss some games and make some plays that Bucks fans will refer to as gritty and 29 other fanbases will refer to as dirty, but it’s hard to argue with the impact Nene had on the Houston Rockets last season.

He benefitted from playing next to a star player in James Harden, but there’s nothing preventing Giannis Antetokounmpo from providing Nene with those same easy looks against partial second units.

Relying on him is usually not the best idea, but the Bucks don’t need Nene to start and the team will likely have at least one other decent center on the roster. Having him in a low-risk role like that could help the Bucks going forward, especially if he wasn’t costing the team that much.