Much to the annoyance of Wizards fans, coach Randy Wittman stuck with a big front line of Marcin Gortat and Nene for much of the season — partially because it worked. The Wizards were +7.6 points per 100 possessions with those two on the court together. But come the playoffs the Wizards moved Nene to the bench and played Pierce at the four far more, and that spaced out the floor and opened things up for John Wall. The Wizards were simply better going small.
Which means the Wizards wouldn’t mind trading Nene this off-season.
The Wizards, CSNwashington.com has confirmed through two persons with knowledge of the situation, aren’t expected to move him during the offseason because there isn’t serious interest in the 13-year power forward who averaged 11 points and 5.1 rebounds. If Nene is eventually moved, it’ll likely occur closer to the trade deadline in February when most of his salary has been picked up by his current team and maybe a contender in need of a big man on an expiring deal could come calling.
The four spot will be what the Wizards try to deal with this summer. Paul Pierce has opted out and while the Wizards believe there is a 50/50 chance he returns, the feeling around the league is he is more likely to land in Los Angeles or another spot outside the nation’s capital.. The Wizards do not have anything resembling a stretch four on the roster and finding one is their off-season priority.
Wittman has said next season he wants to play Nene more at the five. Come the playoffs that meant more time as a backup to Gortat, and he saw minutes down the stretch of games because he worked better defensively against teams going small. That pattern likely continues. Once the Wizards find a stretch four.