Nene, 37, re-signed with the Rockets last summer after averaging 3.6 PPG and 2.9 RPG in 42 games (13.0 MPG) in 2018/19. Although he got a two-year deal from Houston, it was a complicated, incentive-heavy contract that was only guaranteed for about $2.56MM. The terms of the contract, which were designed to make him a trade chip, made it a virtual certainty that he wouldn’t play much, if at all, this season. He has yet to appear in a game.
Unfortunately for the Rockets, the NBA ruled that only the guaranteed portion of Nene’s contract could be counted for salary-matching purposes, reducing his trade value. However, the team still ended up moving him in the sprawling four-way deal that also sent Clint Capela to Atlanta.
Nene would be eligible to sign with any team except the Rockets once he clears waivers and reaches free agency on Saturday. He dealt with an adductor strain earlier in the season, so it’s not clear if he’s healthy enough to contribute at this point.
With Nene off the roster, the Hawks now have an opening on their 15-man squad. They’ll create another one when they officially send Jabari Parker and Alex Len to Sacramento for Dewayne Dedmon. While more deals could be coming for Atlanta, I’d expect the team to use the last spot or two on its roster to audition some players on 10-day contracts going forward.