NBA Ruling On Nene’s Contract Limits His Trade Value

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have made a ruling on Nene‘s unusual new contract with the Rockets, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). As we detailed last week, Nene’s two-year contract has a base value worth the minimum, but features over $7MM annually in likely bonuses that push the value of the deal to $10MM per year.

As Charania explains, Nene’s deal will essentially remain unchanged, but the $7MM+ in likely bonuses will be excluded in the event of a trade. In other words, he’d count for just $2.56MM in both outgoing and incoming salary for matching purposes, rather than being considered a $10MM outgoing piece.

According to Charania (via Twitter), who confirms that the Rockets had discussed a similar deal with Iman Shumpert, Nene will still have the opportunity to earn his bonuses, though the team figures to limit his playing time to avoid paying him significantly more money. In order to receive the full $10MM, Nene must appear in 40 games and his team must compile at least 52 wins.

Word first broke earlier today that the NBA was still weighing how to handle the contract. As we observed at the time,the league has the right to challenge deals that it believes violate the spirit of rules in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, even if those deals are technically legal based on what’s written in the CBA.

It’s a tough turn of events for the Rockets, who appeared to have found a creative way to maximize their flexibility for in-season deals, having generated a $10MM trade chip without being at risk of paying out the full $10MM. As a result of today’s ruling, that won’t be the case after all.

Because he signed a two-year contract, Nene will have a cap charge of $2.56MM rather than the $1.62MM cap hit he would have had if he’d signed a one-year, minimum-salary contract, pushing Houston closer to the tax. On a one-year deal, Nene would’ve had the right to veto trades.

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16 thoughts on “NBA Ruling On Nene’s Contract Limits His Trade Value

  1. stevep-4

    Glad to see that snake Morey outsmart himself. He did those poison-pill contracts including the one with Asik that he managed to get away with. I hope this is a new trend, as the front offices seem to be more interested in twisting and flouting the rules than being fair players in free agency – including the ridiculous amount of tampering.

      • Lenny Bruce

        Then we look at Texans and Oilers. Let’s see, you’ve won what? You cryfaces crack me up. Win something. Then you have my permission to cry

      • Dodgethis

        And what does the NFL have to do with the failure of a franchise known as the rockets?

    • spinach

      “Poison pill contract”… that was a new provision in that iteration of the cba to stop second round picks and undrafted players who actually performed well from getting screwed and having to choose between being locked in at the midlevel long term or accepting near-minimum qualifying offers. Those contracts for Lin and Asik compensated them at a good level after their first four years, same as first round picks. It was a good provision and good and just use of it by Morey.

  2. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Now that the Warriors dynasty is over, the NBA wants to keep a level playing field. If the Rockets were able to trade Nene for a player like Robert Covington, they could easily have duplicated the success that Golden State enjoyed over the past five years.

    • Jeff Zanghi

      Sure Covington would be a solid pickup… but I’m not sure trading Nene for Covington would have taken the Rockets from where they are to the level of Golden State the past five years haha… it’s Robert Covington… not Michael Jordan.

    • Lenny Bruce

      Warriors are all done? Hmmm. News to everyone. And you still won’t get out of the first round

    • Lenny Bruce

      You don’t have the talent. No depth at all. Face it, Warriors will crush you. Why? It’s a team game.

    • Dodgethis

      Posting the warrior are done over and over wont make it actually happen. I know you learned this behavior from CNN and the Washington post, but it’s time to wake up and smell reality. Until a team from the west actually beats the warriors, the dynasty lives. People said the same thing when Durant came. No bench, Durant is an is player, warriors won’t even return to the finals. Then after they won the league went back to crying about how unfair it was. Grow up. Harden is a joke. All of his points are on foul calls where he flopped. Westbrook will never win anything, he plays for himself, not to win.

  3. rxbrgr

    When D’Angelo Russell passes away some day, his gravestone epitaph will say: “Here lies a team player.”

    • Westbrook’s will be made out of bricks with the saying Harden and I still wish we could have got a ring.

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