Why we should NOT give Nene the Max

Let me start this off by saying I like Nene as a player and believe he would be a perfect third option on a championship team. That said, the Nets simply CANNOT give him a max contract this summer, and here's why.

Max contracts should only given out to the absolute top tier of NBA players, guys like LeBron, Dwight, Dirk, Durant, Kobe, etc. Secondary players should NOT receive max contracts or really anywhere close. Here is your proof:

Joe Johnson (6 years, 119 mill)

Carlos Boozer (5 years, 80 mill)

Rashard Lewis (6 years, 126 mill)

Gilbert Arenas (6 years, 111 mill)

Elton Brand (5 years, 80 mill)

Antawn Jamison (4 years, 50 mill)

Al Jefferson (5 years, 65 mill)

Ben Gordon (5 years, 58 mill)

What do these guys all have in common? They are second-tier players that signed huge deals that their teams regret. Max contracts should be reserved for the following players, in my opinion: LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, and Dirk Nowitzki. I could be forgetting a couple people, but you get the point.

Another reason not to give Nene the max is his style of play. He is a tall big man with significant skill on the offensive end. However, he does not rebound very well, and does not intimidate anyone on the defensive side of the court. Does this remind you of anyone? Brook Lopez and Nene would not mesh well in the front court given that they are similar in many ways. Who would rebound and block shots for this team? Who would intimidate opposing guards and wings from driving the lane? Tyson Chandler would be a better fit because he would change the defensive culture of the team and turn us into a tougher and more intimidating team singlehandedly. However, he should not get the max either, as he is also a second tier player.

And finally, people cite Nene's remarkable efficiency as a reason to give him the max. However, with more shots and more minutes, it would be tremendously difficult for Nene to maintain his great FG%. Thus, we would be overpaying a second tier player only to see him exposed for what he truly is, similarly to all the players above on the list of big contracts given to second-tier players.

Nene is a good player, but we should not overspend just to spend, as it could set our franchise back for years, as it has done with several of the players on the above list.


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