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Stein: Nene's Waiting on Howard and Gasol

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Nene, writes Marc Stein, is the back-up plan for the Nets and Rockets, should they lose out on Dwight Howard and Marc Gasol, respectively.

In a series of post-midnight tweets (when else is there ever news?) Stein tweets, "consistent word on this is that Dwight/Marc Gasol sagas must play out first," before Nene's signing can be dealt with. He adds it's not just the Nets and Rockets competing for the 6'11" Brazilian, but the Nuggets, too.

Again tweeting, "Hearing Denver still confident of finding way to re-sign him. Rockets obviously trying to steal M. Gasol first but still covet Nene. AND Nets have obviously been pushing hard to complete trade for Dwight, but if DH12 winds up with Lakers instead then NJN surely turn to Brazil."

Of course, Stein doesn't address the scenario where Magic GM Smith doesn't do anything until later in the season. According to Sam Amick, the Nets are willing to give $64 million over four; Denver last offered $60 million over five and Houston, once they have to walk away for Marc Gasol, could come close to the Nets bid.

On Monday, Ken Berger indicated that the Nets remain his top choice, tweeting "Nuggets awaiting word from Nene, who appears to be down to NJ and Denver."