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Nene opts out of $3.8 million, becomes free agent; Rockets reportedly then talk to JaVale McGee

Houston Rockets Media Day

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 24: Nene Hilario #42 of the Houston Rockets poses for a portrait during the Houston Rockets Media Day at The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston on September 24, 2018 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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The questions for the Houston Rockets at center next season start with Clint Capela — are they going to trade him to try to upgrade on the wing?

Then there are the minutes behind Capela (or whoever starts). Last season Nene gave the Rockets about 13 minutes a night off the bench when healthy, but now he is leaving Houston to test the free agent market, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

We’ll see if that’s a good move financially (or if he just retires, as has been rumored). Nene is a reliable backup center when healthy and on the court, but in a league deep with good centers used sparingly (as the game evolves away from traditional centers) a lot of players such as Nene end up taking the veteran minimum. Maybe he opted out because Nene has a team interested elsewhere for more, maybe he re-signs in Houston, we will see.

If not Nene, the Rockets may turn to JaVale McGee to fill that role, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Those Laker numbers are a little inflated because Los Angeles had to play him and their lineups were constantly in flux, leading to the team leaning on him more than planned. That said, he shot 62.4 percent from the floor and played well, there should be a few teams interested in his services.