After last season, Nene turned down a $3.8 million player option with Houston, choosing to test the free agent market.
He’s about to re-sign with the Rockets for about $1.2 million less than he would have made, in a move that helps the Rockets out financially.
Nene is about to return to the NBA for an 18th season, a story Kelly Iko of The Athletic broke and others have confirmed now.
As for the money, the Rockets would have been in the tax with Nene’s old contract, but now are still just under the line (because not all of his minimum salary actually counts against the cap, as with all veteran minimum contracts).
The Rockets are deep at center now, with Clint Capela starting and playing the bulk of the minutes and having signed Tyson Chandler this summer. Chandler and Nene will soak up the minutes at the five Capela does not play, but the young Swiss center will get the bulk of the run.
Nene played a limited role for the Rockets last season, getting in 42 games (health was part of the problem) and averaging 3.6 points an 2.9 rebounds a game when he did get in. His efficiency slipped last season but he still can give a team solid minutes in a limited role. The Rockets will count on that.