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Report: Rockets to bring back big man Nene

A somewhat surprising but welcoming acquisition.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

According to Kelly Iko (formerly of The Dream Shake!) of the Athletic, the Rockets plan to re-sign Nene Hilario.

Nene spent the past three seasons in Rockets red, but declined his $3.8 million player option that made him a free agent earlier this summer.

In response to Nene’s departure, the Rockets signed veteran Tyson Chandler to a veteran’s minimum deal earlier this offseason.

But now there could be another established veteran entering the front court depth.

The idea that appeared to float around was to have Chandler vacate Nene’s space in the rotation and give soon-to-be third-year veteran Isaiah Hartenstein more minutes as Clint Capela’s backup center.

Perhaps a variable in that equation might not be as in place as we thought.

Even as Nene enters his age-37 season, he became a solid contributor for the Rockets in last May’s playoffs, adding a defensive anchor in the paint.

Or this could simply be the case of adding another veteran to bring leadership to the locker room and improve the chemistry.

Nene has been a big part of that veteran presence for the past three seasons and you can’t help but have a smile on your face knowing he’s coming home.

Welcome back Nene!