Usually for a pro athlete to gain “singular name status,” they have done something noteworthy on the court or field. Something big! Like a championship, a scoring title or even the gulp……..slam dunk contest. There was Michael, Magic, Larry and Charles, and currently we have Kobe, Lebron, Shaq and Melo, but Nenê? It’s downright baffling to me.Nenê Hilario is a decent player at this level, and certainly could start for a number of lesser teams, but he’ll never be an all-star. He can barely jump, which instantly makes him the shortest 6’11” player you can find in a professional basketball league anywhere. Hilario is a wide body type who moves well, is fairly active, young and figures to get plenty of playing time, mainly off the bench. Injuries could play an even bigger role as Martin and Camby haven’t exactly been known for durability. However, currently he doesn’t even start. He’s more of a garbage scorer with limited offensive skills.
Bigmen have always been a needed commodity in the NBA, and Kiki Vandeweghe has reportedly fielded many requests by other squads about acquiring his services. Either they pay him now or he could leave as a FA, and quite frankly the Nuggets may be forced to overpay him, as they may have to keep him for security.
I just don’t think it’s the wise move, basically signing a player for too much money as insurance in case of injury to two highly-paid, brittle big men in Camby and Martin. There will be a market for Nenê Hilario on both the trade front and the FA market, if and when he makes it there.
The best move is to make no move at all. Let Nenê Hilario finish out his contract. Then watch and laugh as some knucklehead GM signs him to a big money deal, and is rewarded with journeyman play for “singular name status money!” Kiki won’t fall for the gag. I hope.