- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nene arrived in Washington early Saturday evening to take his physical, the final step before officially becoming a member of the Wizards.

The team is in the midst of a six-game road trip but will return home for at least one, possibly two practices before playing the Nets in New Jersey on Wednesday. The Wizards will return home to play the Indiana Pacers at Verizon Center on Thursday.

The trade will no doubt be a huge adjustment for Nene, who had spent his entire career with the Nuggets, and lives in Denver during the offseason.

“I understand it’s a business of basketball,” Nene said in a statement released by his manager, Alex Santos.

“I want to thank the Nuggets and all the fans who have been behind me all these years, for good times and bad times. I know God has big plans for me, and my future is in his hands.”

Pending the results of his physical, Nene could be in uniform in time for Wednesday’s game in New Jersey.In Nene, the Wizards get a 6-foot-11 center who is averaging 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds. He had played in 28 of the Nuggets’ 43 games until being traded.

Also included in the deal was forward Brian Cook, who already has passed his physical and joined the team for Sunday’s game against the Grizzlies in Memphis. But Cook likely will reach a buyout agreement with the team. Acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers, along with a 2015 second-round pick, Cook was included in the deal to help the Clippers clear enough cap room to get Nick Young.

The Nuggets landed JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf in the deal, but Turiaf is expected to be waived as the Nuggets seek cap space to begin their youth movement. Denver is continuing to remake its roster since trading All-Star Carmelo Anthony last season for four players, three picks, and $3 million in cash.

The loss of Young and McGee will mean the Wizards need to replace about 28.5 points per game. Young averaged 16.6; McGee scored 11.9.

The Wizards could get some help from D-League call up Edwin Ubiles, a 6-foot-6 swingman who the team signed to a 10-day contract. Ubiles averages 20.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.3 for the Dakota Wizards.

As for Young and McGee, both sounded pleased at the opportunity to join playoff contenders. The Clippers are in fourth place in the Western Conference, the Nuggets in seventh.

“The Wizards were definitely a good organization, but they haven’t been in the playoffs since I’ve been there,” McGee told reporters in Denver upon his arrival. “It’s definitely a change of venue coming to a playoff team, and I’m really excited about it.”

As for Young, he called returning to his native Los Angeles “a dream come true.” Young said during his news conference in Los Angeles that the losing culture in Washington caused some turmoil among the players.

“We was losing [in Washington.] It was a tough situation,” Young said. “We were the not-top-10, a laughingstock. It caused some tension between the players. We needed a new look.”

• Carla Peay can be reached at cpeay@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide