Nene Hilario
Nene Hilario
37-Year-Old CenterC
 Free Agent    
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Nene Hilario in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a two-year, $5.26 million contract with the Rockets in September of 2019. Traded to the Hawks in February of 2020. Waived by the Hawks in February of 2020.
Personal Bio

Nene was born in São Carlos, Brazil, to Jose Paulo Hilario and Carmen Hilario. He has one brother and one sister. Nene was born Maybyner Rodney Hilário and was nicknamed "Nenê" (a variation of Brazilian Portuguese for baby) because he was the youngest in both his family and his group of childhood friends. He legally changed his name to Nenê in the summer of 2003. He played soccer as a child and was invited to train with pro clubs at a young age. Nene grew up idolizing NBA superstars Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. He is a member of the Brazilian national team and competed in the Olympics in 2012 and 2016 as well as the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain. Nene established a foundation to build a youth center in his hometown of Sao Carlos, which provides educational and athletic resources to underprivileged children in the surrounding community. He also participated in the NBA's Basketball Without Borders program in South America in 2003 and 2004. Learn more about Nene by following him on Twitter (@NeneHilario42) and on Instagram (@nenehilario_42).

College/International Summary

Nene grew up playing soccer, but he started playing basketball in Sao Carlos, Brazil in the mid-1990s. Starting in 1999, he played professional basketball for Vasco de Gama when he was 17 years old. The team won the Brazilian championship in 2000 and 2001. He played in 38 games for Vasco de Gama in 2000-01 and provided 7.9 points and 5.9 rebounds. In 2001-02, the forward averaged 13.2 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks, good for third in the league in both boards and blocks. He had two games of 16 boards or more. Nene participated in the 2001 Goodwill Games in Australia. In a game against the United States, he provided eight points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in 18 minutes. After three years of playing in Brazil, Nene made himself available for the 2002 NBA Draft.

Cut loose by Atlanta
CFree Agent
Hip
February 6, 2020
The Hawks waived Nene (hip) on Thursday.
ANALYSIS
With the massive four-team, 12-player deal that was agreed upon earlier in the week officially approved by the NBA, the Hawks quickly parted ways with Nene, who was likely only included in the deal that sent Clint Capela (heel) to Atlanta for salary-matching purposes. Nene has been sidelined all season after a chronic left adductor injury bothered him prior to the Rockets opening training camp. The 37-year-old never resumed any on-court work with the Rockets prior to being dealt, so it's looking rather unlikely that he'll be ready to play at any point this season as he heads to the free-agent pool. Given his advanced age and lengthy injury history, Nene's 18-year NBA career could be over.
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Past Season Summaries
2018

The 2018-19 season was Nene's 17th season in the Association. The 6-foot-11 big man played in 42 games for the Rockets and averaged 13 minutes per contest. A right calf injury forced Nene to miss Houston's first 21 games. He made his season debut Dec. 1, scoring four points and grabbing three rebounds in a win over the Bulls. On Dec. 6, Nene scored a season-high 11 points in a loss to Utah. The big Brazilian scored in double-digits three times during the season. He also grabbed five or more rebounds in six games. On Jan. 27, Nene blocked two shots in just 12 minutes of play during a win over Orlando. It was the second time during the season that Nene collected two blocks. The Rockets finished 53-29 and defeated the Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. They then lost to the Warriors during the second round in six games.

2017

In his 16th NBA season, Nene started four of the 52 games in which he appeared for the Houston Rockets. He missed several games throughout the season with some nagging back and knee injuries. The 6-foot-11 center averaged 6.5 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 56.9 percent from the field. He also shot 63.6 percent on free throws, his best mark since the 2012-13 campaign. Nene had 11 double-digit scoring games on the year and five of those games came during a seven-game stretch in November. During that span, he averaged 8.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting an impressive 71 percent from the field. The Rockets won all seven of those games and went 10-1 when he scored at least 10 points. The Brazilian big man scored a season-high 16 points during a Dec. 16 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Nene averaged 2.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 11 postseason contests.

2016

After four-plus seasons with the Washington Wizards, Nene signed with the Houston Rockets prior to the 2016-17 campaign. He played 67 in games in his first season with Houston -- eight as a starter -- and averaged 17.9 minutes per contest. Nene's numbers were similar to his previous season as he posted per-game averages of 9.1 points and 4.2 boards. Continuing a career-long trend, the big man was very efficient from the floor, making 61.7 percent of his field-goal attempts. He scored a season-high 21 points in a victory over Philadelphia on Jan. 27, adding six rebounds and two assists. In a victory over the Clippers on March 1, Nene scored 16 points, grabbed nine rebounds and went 6-of-7 from the field. The veteran also played a key role in the playoffs. He averaged 10.0 points and 4.7 boards in nine postseason games. In one of the most efficient playoff performances in history, Nene made all 12 of his field-goal attempts en route to 28 points while adding 10 rebounds in Game 4 of the first round against Oklahoma City. However, Nene's postseason ended early after he suffered a left adductor tear in the second round versus the Spurs.

2015

Nene began the 2015-16 campaign in a backup center role. He played in 12 of 13 games for the Wizards to begin the season before straining his left calf in late November. The injury cost Nene 19 games, keeping him out of action until Jan. 6. The big man shifted between power forward and center the remainder of the season. His minutes also fluctuated as he was used in both a starting and a bench role. Overall, Nene averaged 19.2 minutes, his lowest mark since the 2007-08 campaign. His other numbers naturally dipped, though he was still an important contributor with season averages of 9.2 points and 4.5 rebounds. Nene's field-goal percentage also held steady at 54.4 percent. He registered one double-double on the season, a 10-point, 10-rebound effort against Atlanta on Nov. 7. Nene scored a season-high 20 points in a win over Detroit on March 14, adding three rebounds and three assists.

2014

Nene played in 67 games for Washington during the 2014-15 campaign, his most in four seasons. The Brazilian big man played primarily at power forward, averaging 25.3 minutes per contest. On the season, he averaged 11.0 points, marking the seventh straight campaign in which he finished with a double-digit scoring average. Nene also grabbed 5.1 rebounds and dished 1.8 assists per game. Meanwhile, his field-goal percentage remained solid at 51.1 percent. Nene topped the 20-point mark seven times during the season and hauled in double-digit rebounds three times. He scored a season-high 24 points against the Thunder on Jan. 21, adding four rebounds and three assists. In the postseason, Nene started each of the Wizards' 10 contests at power forward. He averaged 7.9 points and 6.6 rebounds during the playoffs, helping Washington advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. In his finest postseason game, Nene totaled 17 points along with seven rebounds and four assists in Game 3 of the second round versus Atlanta.

2013

Nene continued to fill a key role for Washington during the 2013-14 season. He played in 53 games, making 37 starts. The 6-foot-11 power forward raised his scoring average to 14.2 points per contest while grabbing 5.5 boards per game. For the ninth time in his career, Nene finished the season making more than half of his shots as he registered a 50.3 field-goal percentage. On Nov. 26, he set a career high by scoring 30 points in a win over the Lakers. He matched that feat Feb. 22 when he again scored 30 points versus the Pelicans. Nene established another career best when he handed out nine assists in a victory over Miami on Jan. 15. With Nene in the frontcourt, Washington qualified for the postseason for the first time in six seasons. In Game 1 of the Wizards' first-round playoff series against Chicago, the big man scored 24 points and corralled eight rebounds to help lead his team to victory. Washington ultimately won the series and advanced to the Conference Semifinals where they fell to Indiana. In 10 total playoff games, Nene posted per-game averages of 13.7 points and 5.3 rebounds.

2012

For the first time in his career, Nene began a season playing for a team other than Denver at the outset of the 2012-13 campaign. He opened the season as Washington's starting center before shifting to the power-forward position in late December. Altogether, the big man played 61 games and averaged 27.2 minutes per contest. His numbers dipped slightly in comparison to recent seasons, but he still managed healthy averages of 12.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Nene also set a career high with 2.9 assists per contest and had his best season at the charity stripe, shooting 72.9 percent. The veteran reached the 20-point mark seven times during the season, topping out at 24 points in a win over Portland on Jan. 21. He collected double-digit boards on nine occasions. Among those was a 13-rebound, 21-point performance against Milwaukee on Feb. 11 during which he converted 10 of 13 field-goal attempts.

2011

Nene began his 10th season in Denver as the team's starting power forward. He played 28 games with the Nuggets (27 starts) and averaged 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per contest. However, Nene's tenure in Denver came to a sudden end when he was traded to the Washington Wizards in mid-March. The big man got into 11 games with Washington, averaging 25.8 minutes per contest. Though his playing time was slightly less than what he was accustomed to with Denver, Nene upped both his scoring (14.5 points) and rebounding (7.6 rebounds) averages in his time with the Wizards. Between the two teams, Nene played in 39 games and registered eight double-doubles.

2010

In his ninth NBA season, Nene continued to anchor the middle for the Nuggets. He started all 75 games in which he played, averaging 30.5 minutes per game. On the season, the Brazilian center posted per-game averages of 14.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest. His 61.5 field-goal percentage was not only a career high, it represented the highest mark in the league. Nene also averaged 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. In perhaps his best performance of the season, Nene tallied 27 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, dished six assists, swatted two shots and picked up two steals in a victory over Memphis on Dec. 5. For the eighth straight season, Denver qualified for the playoffs, meeting Oklahoma City in the first round. Though the Nuggets fell in five games, Nene enjoyed one of the finest playoff series of his career, averaging 14.2 points and 9.0 rebounds.

2009

For the first time in his career, Nene did not miss a game during the 2009-10 season. He started all 82 contests for the Denver Nuggets, averaging a career-high 33.7 minutes. The Brazilian big man posted per-game averages of 13.8 points and 7.6 rebounds along with a career-best 2.5 assists. Defensively, he ranked 19th in the NBA with 1.4 steals per game while averaging one blocked shot per contest. Nene registered 14 double-doubles on the season, including a 24-point, 15-rebound effort against Philadelphia on Jan. 3. In the postseason, Nene started each game in Denver's first-round playoff matchup against Utah. He scored 19 points in the first game of the series and went on to average 11.4 points and 5.8 boards in the five-game battle.

2008

Nene rebounded from a difficult 2007-08 campaign to post his best season to date in 2008-09. His per-game averages of 14.6 points and 7.8 rebounds were career bests, as was his 32.6 minutes per contest. Nene also registered the highest field-goal percentage of his career -- 60.4 percent -- and ranked second in the league in that category. The big man even made the first three-pointer of his career during the campaign, knocking home the trey as part of a 21-point, seven-rebound performance in a win over Toronto on New Year's Eve. Nene's standout season was recognized with a fifth-place finish in voting for the Most Improved Player award. In the postseason, Denver finally broke free from a string of first-round playoff exits to advance to the Western Conference Finals. Nene started all 16 games in which he played during Denver's postseason run, posting per-game averages of 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds.

2007

For the second time in three seasons, Nene missed most of the campaign in 2007-08 for health reasons. He sat out 22 contests due to a torn ligament in his left thumb and later missed 37 games while undergoing treatment for testicular cancer. Overall, Nene played 16 games during the campaign and averaged 16.6 minutes per contest. His 5.3 points and 5.4 rebounds were below his career averages, though they converted to more impressive marks of 11.5 points and 11.8 rebounds per 36 minutes. Nene did return from his health issues in time to participate in the playoffs, though he played in only three games during Denver's first-round series against the Lakers. In those contests, he averaged 4.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10 minutes per game.

2006

Following an ACL tear that limited him to one game during the previous campaign, Nene returned to action for the 2006-07 season. He proved to be completely recovered from the injury, playing 64 games and making 42 starts. The big man left little doubt about his ability to bounce back from a lost season, posting career-best per-game averages of 12.2 points and 7.0 rebounds. He also shot a career-high 57.0 percent from the field and 68.9 percent from the charity stripe. He grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds and scored 21 points against the Pistons on March 26, one of twelve double-doubles he registered on the season. In the playoffs, Nene started all five games of Denver's first-round series against the Spurs. The Nuggets were eliminated in the opening round for the fourth straight postseason, but Nene played well, averaging 15.2 points and 7.8 rebounds.

2005

Nene opened the 2005-06 season with hopes of rebounding from an injury-plagued previous campaign. However, disaster struck in the first game of the season against San Antonio. In his third minute off the bench, Nene tore the ACL in his right knee. The injury wiped out the remainder of his season.

2004

Nene was limited to 55 games in his third season as he dealt with injuries to his knee, hip and hamstring. The big man consequently took on a reduced role, coming off the bench in 37 contests after starting all 77 games the previous season. His minutes also dropped to 23.9 per contest, though Nene still found ways to contribute. He scored 9.6 points per game while shooting 50.3 percent from the field, marking the third straight campaign in which he made over half of his field-goal attempts. Nene also grabbed 5.9 rebounds per contest and averaged nearly one steal and one blocked shot per game. In the postseason, the Brazilian played in all five games during Denver's first-round series versus San Antonio. He averaged 6.6 points and 5.0 rebounds in 20.2 minutes per contest.

2003

Nene locked up a starting role in all 77 games in which he played during his sophomore campaign, averaging 32.5 minutes per contest. The talented Brazilian increased his scoring and rebounding output over his rookie campaign to 11.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He also averaged 1.5 steals and 0.5 blocks. Nene continued to demonstrate impressive accuracy from the field, ranking fifth in the league in field-goal percentage at 53.0 percent. He registered 12 double-doubles during the season, including a 21-point, 13-rebound effort in a win over Cleveland on Dec. 2. Nene got his first taste of the postseason as Denver faced Minnesota in the first round of the playoffs. The big man started all five games of the series, posting per-game averages of 7.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

2002

Nene was selected by the New York Knicks with the seventh overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. He was the first Brazilian in league history to be selected in the first round of the draft. On the evening of his selection, Nene was dealt by New York to the Denver Nuggets in a multi-player trade. The big man played in 80 games for the Nuggets during his rookie season, making 53 starts. He posted per-game averages of 10.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals. Nene shot 51.9 percent from the field during his rookie campaign, ranking sixth in the league. His performance earned him a spot on the All-Rookie First Team.

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Transaction History
  • June 26, 2002
    Drafted by the New York Knicks in the 1st round (7th pick) of the 2002 NBA Draft.
  • July 1, 2002
    Signed a rookie three-year contract with the Denver Nuggets.
  • July 1, 2006
    Signed a six-year contract with the Denver Nuggets.
  • December 1, 2011
    Signed a five-year contract with the Denver Nuggets.
  • March 15, 2012
    Traded by the Denver Nuggets, along with Brian Cook and a 2015 2nd round pick, to the Washington Wizards in exchange for in exchange for JaVale McGee, Ronny Turiaf and Nick Young.
  • July 20, 2016
    Signed a one-year contract with the Houston Rockets.
  • July 6, 2017
    Signed a three-year contract with the Houston Rockets.
  • September 6, 2019
    Signed a two-year contract with the Houston Rockets.
  • February 5, 2020
    As part of a 4-team trade, traded by the Houston Rockets with Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks. Minnesota received Evan Turner and a conditional 1st-round draft pick (via Brooklyn) from Atlanta. Houston received a 2024 2nd-round draft pick (via Golden State) from Atlanta. Minnesota received Malik Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez and Jarred Vanderbilt from the Denver Nuggets. Houston received Jordan Bell and Robert Covington from Minnesota. Denver received Keita Bates-Diop, Noah Vonleh and Shabazz Napier from Minnesota. Minnesota received Gerald Green and a 2020 first-round pick from Houston.
  • February 6, 2020
    Waived by the Atlanta Hawks.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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2003
As expected, Hilario's workload continued to decline during his 16th NBA season. He averaged just 14.6 minutes per game, which he turned into 6.5 points and 3.4 rebounds. He also saw action in just 52 contests, as the Rockets gave him plenty of rest throughout the season. Hilario isn't getting any younger, so don't expect his playing time to change much heading into the upcoming campaign. He'll temporarily be slotted in as Clint Capela's backup at center, though it wouldn't be surprising if Houston attempted to go with some smaller, more athletic lineups when Capela's off the floor. With minutes in the teens being Hilario's best case scenario, he can be avoided in the bulk of Fantasy leagues.
In his 15th NBA season, Hilario once again saw his playing time decline, falling to 17.9 minutes, which was his lowest since the 2007-08 season. However, that didn't stop him from posting similar numbers to a year prior, as he averaged 9.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 assist, while shooting 58.9 percent from the floor. He spent the majority of the campaign as the team's backup center to Clint Capela and was quite effective in limited action. However, Hilario isn't getting any younger and his minutes will likely continue to fall moving forward. While the Rockets no longer have Montrezl Harrell, they brought in Tarik Black and Shawn Long, both of which could take on some of Hilario's workload to keep him as fresh as possible for another playoff run. That being said, Hilario could find himself falling further out of Fantasy relevancy and will likely be nothing more than a late-round option in deeper leagues.
Since coming to Washington during the 2011-12 season, Hilario has been plagued by injuries. One would think that someone so big wouldn't be felled by injuries, but basketball is a tough sport. He suffered through foot, ankle, and shoulder injuries. Still, Nene played in 67 games with 58 starts for 25 minutes in 2014-15. Those numbers were his lowest since arriving in Washington. Nene's production was down across the board. He averaged 11.0 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.3 blocks, recording just two double-doubles. The 6-11 forward made 51 percent from the field and 60 percent from the line. In the playoffs, Nene scored just 7.9 points (including a scoreless Game 1 against the Hawks), but managed to pull down 6.6 rebounds in 26 minutes as the Wizards advanced to the conference semifinals. The native of Brazil has 13 seasons of NBA battles on his body and has said that he would be willing to come off the bench in the 2015-16 season. He has been a starter for the majority of his career, but reduced minutes could result in improved effectiveness.
The book on Nene is mostly written at this point, and he unquestionably lived up to his reputation last year. Oft-injured and inconsistent, the Brazilian big man is a menace to opposing defenders when both healthy and at the top of his game. The Wizards got spurts of his best last season, but Nene missed all of March because of a sprained MCL, and then struggled in a second-round playoff series against the Indiana Pacers. He finished the regular season with averages of 14.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.9 blocks in 29 minutes. Nene provides multi-category contributions that are rare for a player with center eligibility, but his free-throw shooting oddly became a problem for the first-time last season. A career 67-percent shooter from the line, Nene mysteriously made just 58 percent of his foul shots during his age-31 campaign. If he can get that issue sorted out, Nene could be one of the more undervalued veterans, as his injury issues seem to be nagging more so than degenerative. He's locked in as the Wizards' starting power forward, and with center Marcin Gortat around to do the dirty work, Nene is free to pile up points, steals and assists. He's also taken on a starring role with the second unit at times, often alongside shooting guard Bradley Beal.
Nene was plagued with injuries over the last two seasons, missing a total of 48 games due to various injuries. In his 2012-13 campaign, the Brazilian veteran averaged solid numbers with 12.6 points (48 percent from the field, 73 percent from the line), 6.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 0.9 steals in 27 minutes per game. His scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage rates were the lowest Nene had achieved over the past five years, and it was evident that injuries to his knee and foot limited his ability to contribute in his first full season with the Wizards. With news that Nene has been recovering well in the offseason, it is possible for him to have a comeback season as a solid fantasy contributor. Though the Wizards' frontcourt is loaded with role players such as Trevor Booker, Jan Vesley, Emeka Okafor, Kevin Seraphin and Al Harrington, Nene is most likely the focal point down low, as he just signed a massive contract in the 2011-12 season. If Nene can remain healthy for the entire season, he could be considered a sleeper pick in many fantasy formats.
After signing a massive $67-million contract with the Nuggets prior to the 2011-12 season, it looked like Nene would be one of the center pieces of the team in the post-Carmelo Anthony era. Instead, he was sent to Washington prior to the trade deadline. Nene�s production was nearly identical in both of his stops last season, finishing with averages of 13.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks � all numbers that are right in line with his production over the previous three seasons. The main black mark against Nene last season was his inability to stay healthy, as he played in just 39 of 66 games. He dealt with an array of lower-body issues all season and was hampered by plantar fasciitis late in the year. The plantar fasciitis was an issue during his Summer Olympic stint with Brazil, so the condition still warrants monitoring. While the health issues are an obvious concern, Nene is actually in a good position to post some of the best numbers of his career with the Wizards. Washington has numerous young pieces to build around in the backcourt (John Wall, Bradley Beal) and wing (Jan Vesely), but Nene and Emeka Okafor figure to be the two featured pieces down low. If Nene is healthy enough to average 35 minutes per game, we could be looking at one of his most productive seasons stat-wise. Of course, that�s a big if.
Nene continued to go about his business in 2010-11, quietly being one of the most consistent all-around fantasy contributors at the center position. Despite playing just over 30 minutes per game on a deep Denver squad, the 29-year-old Brazilian matched his personal-best scoring mark of 14.6 points per game. His offensive strength comes from an extremely efficient attack, nailing 61.5 percent of his shots from the floor and 71.1 percent of his freebies. He also chipped in as a steady producer on defense with 7.6 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks. One of the biggest worries with Nene earlier in his career was his tendency to get hurt, but after three consecutive seasons with 75 or more appearances, he has shaken his injury-prone label. Nene will be a free agent once the NBA’s labor situation resolves. It’s currently uncertain where he might land, but after three straight effective seasons in Denver, he should have plenty of suitors. His destination will factor into his overall value, but regardless of where he lands, Nene proved last year he could still produce while being part of a crowded roster.
It's been great seeing what Nene can do while finally healthy over the past two years, and his ability to contribute in so many categories is rare. He's one of a few centers who averaged both a steal and a block per game last season, and the 2.5 apg are nothing to sneeze at either. Still, let's not forget he missed a total of 165 games from 2006-2008, which makes him quite risky as a potential third round pick. He's also not much of a free throw shooter (career 67.2%), and even during his impressive last two seasons, he averaged a modest 7.75 rpg. Denver also added Al Harrington to the mix during the offseason, so with Chris Andersen and Kenyon Martin also there, the Nuggets' frontcourt is quite crowded. Nene has downside.
Nene is one of the quickest centers in the league and possesses a high basketball IQ. He doesn’t try to do things that are outside of his role on the team. He has good hands, takes smart shots and can hit the mid-range jumper. Nene had the second best field-goal percentage in the league last year (60.4), trailing only Shaquille O’Neal. He played in 77 games, starting in all but one of them. The previous four seasons, Nene played in only 158 of a possible 328 games. He tore the ACL in his right knee in the first two minutes of Denver’s first game of the 2005-2006 season and was forced to miss the final 81. Nene experienced a mild breakout season in 2006-2007, but succumbed to testicular cancer, a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb and a right groin strain that limited him to 16 games in 2007-2008. After a healthy campaign in 2008-09, those injuries appear to be behind him. He’ll be a top ten contributor in field-goal percentage and provides good value in points, rebounds and blocks. Nene hits a respectable number of his free throws and doesn’t hurt you in any categories like Dwight Howard with his poor free-throw percentage and frequent turnovers.
Hilario was limited to just 16 games last season after battling cancer as well as injuries. While the cancer issue can be chalked up to horrible luck, the injury issues have been a consistent theme throughout his career. It’s unfortunate because he’s been fairly productive when on the court, capable of averaging more than a steal and block per contest. Hilario saw his value get a major boost when the Nuggets basically gave Marcus Camby away to the Clippers, opening up major minutes in the middle. Hilario appears to be the team’s starting center, and with Camby no longer taking all the rebounds, there’s some upside here. If he can stay healthy.
Nene returned from knee surgery with a bang last season, setting new career highs in per game scoring (12.2), field-goal percentage (57) and rebounding (7.0), despite playing fewer minutes (26.8) than in his first two seasons. Nene always had excellent size and strength, but until last season he didn’t do a great job of using that to his advantage. His improved numbers were mostly due to more aggressive inside play and improved polish on his post moves. He’s the best interior scoring threat on the Nuggets, but once Allen Iverson joined Carmelo Anthony last season there were fewer shots to go around for everyone. Also, Kenyon Martin may return from his own knee issues this summer, further cutting into Nene’s minutes. Nene still has the potential to become a roto impact player, but his team circumstances make it more likely that he will instead remain a solid role contributor.
Nene got only three minutes into his 2005-06 campaign before going down for the season with a torn ACL. The Nuggets are convinced that his knee has recovered, though, having signed him to a $60 million extension this offseason. Nene has all of the physical tools to be a dominant center, standing 6-11 and a solid 268 pounds with good quickness and jumping ability, but through his first three years he has been a solid but average 11 points, six rebounds player that is more likely to impact defensively with quick hands (1.4 spg career) than by defending the rim (.7 bpg). The Nuggets currently have a crowded big-man rotation that also features Marcus Camby, Kenyon Martin, and Joe Smith, so it is hard to imagine that Nene will be able to dramatically improve upon his career averages even if his knee is fully healthy.
The focus of several trade rumors both last year and this past summer Nenê remains a Nugget and should remain a key player in George Karl’s rotation. His prime weaknesses remain his limited low post game and his free-throw shooting but he is the first front-court player off the bench, shoots a high percentage from the field, and can man both the C and PF positions which should make him center eligible in most fantasy leagues. The arrival of Eduardo Najera last season did cut into Nenê’s minutes slightly but we don’t see that being a major problem. In most leagues Nenê won’t be worth a pick-up unless Camby or Martin go down with injuries and even then his limited offensive game will limit his worth. Our projections for 2005-06 are 8-10 points, 5-7 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block in 23-28 minutes a night.
Despite a fantastic 2nd season Nene' will undoubtedly lose his starting spot to newcomer Kenyon Martin. However, that doesn't mean you should expect a major drop off in production because aside from backing up Martin he'll more than likely spend some quality minutes at the five spot behind Camby as well. We expect to see him getting close to 30 minutes a night and averaging 8-10 points, six boards, two assists, and a steal while reducing his turnovers and improving his free throw % (68% last season).
Nene, who legally changed his name from Maybyner Hilario over the summer, enters his second season with the Nuggets primed to do some damage up front. He'll most likely start at PF but could easily fill in at C if called upon to do that. Expect him to get 30-35 minutes a night with an average stat line of 11-13 points, 6-8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block and 1 steal a game. Though he shouldn't be on your short list of good PF's to take in the early rounds he should make for a very solid back-up especially if he's earmarked as a C/F in your league.
More Fantasy News
Heading to Atlanta
CAtlanta Hawks
Hip
February 4, 2020
Hilario is being trading to the Hawks as part of a four-team deal, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reports.
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Remains away from team
CHouston Rockets
Hip
January 15, 2020
Nene (hip) is listed as out for Wednesday's game against the Trail Blazers.
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Still without timetable
CHouston Rockets
Hip
December 16, 2019
Hilario (hip) is listed as out for Monday's game against the Spurs.
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Remains out
CHouston Rockets
Hip
December 5, 2019
Hilario (hip) is listed as out for Thursday's game against the Raptors.
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Yet to rejoin team
CHouston Rockets
Hip
November 11, 2019
Nene (hip) is listed as out for Monday's game against the Pelicans and didn't travel with the team to New Orleans, Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic reports.
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