Southwest Notes: Nene, Rockets, Mavs, Pelicans

While much of the praise this year for Daryl Morey‘s work in the 2016 offseason has focused on the Rockets‘ additions of Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon, the team’s decision to sign Nene to a modest one-year contract has also paid off in a huge way.

In a piece for The Undefeated, Marc J. Spears takes a closer look at the impact the veteran center has had in Houston, and shares an interesting tidbit: Nene actually contemplated retirement before deciding to sign with the Rockets last summer. Having battled injuries for much of his career, Nene has managed to stay healthy this season, and Houston’s success has him “loving basketball again,” according to Spears.

Here’s more from around the Southwest division:

  • The Rockets and a handful of other NBA teams are “gathering intel” on Argentinean point guard Facundo Campazzo, according to international basketball journalist David Pick (Twitter link). Campazzo, whose contract with Real Madrid is ending, doesn’t have an interest in extending that deal, per Pick, and the 26-year-old has been talking since last year about making the leap to the NBA.
  • In a chat with readers for the Dallas Morning News, Mavericks beat writer Eddie Sefko wonders if the team’s newfound youth movement will extend into the offseason, or if the team will use its lottery pick as a chip to acquire a more established NBA player. Sefko also suggests that it wouldn’t be crazy if Dallas kicked the tires on Carmelo Anthony, though that sounds like speculation.
  • Sefko doesn’t expect the Mavericks to face a serious challenge in their effort to lock up Nerlens Noel to a long-term deal. Unless one side “wants to play hardball with the numbers,” a deal should get done relatively quickly once free agency opens, in Sefko’s opinion.
  • Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post and Bobby Marks of The Vertical each examine the upcoming offseason for the Pelicans, which both scribes pointing to Jrue Holiday‘s looming free agency as perhaps the most important storyline of the summer for New Orleans.

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