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Nene’s contract to exclude $7.6M bonuses

Not an ideal situation for Houston.

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets - Game Six Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The NBA and NBA Players’ Association have altered the nature behind Nene’s newly-signed 2-year, $20 million deal.

The deal was an interesting loophole way to turn Nene into a valuable trade asset to acquire a pricy veteran, like Grizzlies wing Andre Iguodala, but the NBA ultimately changed the valuation.

The base of Nene’s contract, $2.56 million, remains intact. However, if traded, Nene’s “likely bonuses” would not count.

The bonuses were based on how many games Nene played and if the Rockets won 52 or more games.

The Rockets signed him to this contract strictly as a trade asset, but the part of the contract that turned Nene into a trade asset is now void.

While Nene is unable to be traded before January 15, the Rockets would have been in prime position to move Nene sometime between then and February 6, the trade deadline.

If Nene stays on the Rockets’ roster before February 15, his $2.69 million option for 2020-21 will become fully guaranteed, which seems unlikely at this point.

Nene can still be traded, but it won’t be a deal that the Rockets were initially hoping for. His salary would have been able to match one with a price tag in the neighborhood of $8-10 million, but now it is simply a small veteran’s contract.

Perhaps the Rockets could appeal, but it does not seem like an appeal the Rockets would win.

While the ruling is a loss for Houston, it isn’t a catastrophic loss and won’t set the Rockets back too much. They still have a great veteran that will keep the chemistry strong and another mentor for the squad.