Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has acquired Nene (neh-NAY), forward Brian Cook and a 2015 second-round pick (from the Los Angeles Clippers via the New Orleans Hornets) in a three-team trade with the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Wizards traded centers JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to the Nuggets and guard Nick Young to the Clippers.
In his 10th NBA season, Nene has averaged 12.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 555 career games (451 starts) with Denver. The 29-year-old Brazilian is averaging 13.4 points,7.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals this season. His best season came in 2008-2009 after returning from a bout with testicular cancer. During that year, he averaged career highs of 14.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.31 blocks.
The 6-11, 250-pound forward/center has posted 79 double-doubles in his career. He holds the second-highest career field goal percentage (.560) in Nuggets’ history and led the NBA in field goal percentage shooting (.615) in 2010-2011. Nene has appeared in the postseason with the Nuggets six times, averaging 10.8 points and 6.6 rebounds in 44 games (36 starts). In 2009, Nene helped lead Denver to the Western Conference Finals while averaging 11.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 16 postseason games.
“Nene is a versatile player who will bring experience and a physical presence to our frontcourt,” said Grunfeld. “He is a strong rebounder, tough defender and a fierce competitor. His veteran leadership and postseason experience will be a positive influence in our locker room.”
Nene originally entered the NBA in 2002 as a first round draft pick (7 th overall) of the New York Knicks and was traded on draft night to the Denver Nuggets. In his first year,Nene earned NBA All-Rookie First Team honors while averaging 10.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. In addition, Nene played for the Brazilian National Team in the 2007 FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament and helped Brazil secure a Bronze medal in the 2001 Goodwill Games.
In his ninth NBA season, Cook has averaged 5.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 405 career games (74 starts). Cook has played with five NBA teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers (2003-08), Orlando (2007-09), Houston (2009-10) and the Los Angeles Clippers (2010-2012). He was originally selected by the Lakers in the first round (24 th overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft.
McGee, 7-0, 252, has appeared in 41 games (40 starts) this season, averaging career-highs with 11.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg and 2.46 bpg in 27.4 minutes. The big man’s 2.46 blocks ranks 2nd in the NBA, while his .535 field goal percentage ranks 9th in the league.
The 24-year-old McGee has appeared in 255 career games (148 starts) over four seasons with Washington, averaging 8.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 1.84 bpg. The University of Nevada-Reno product was drafted by the Washington Wizards with the 18th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.
Young has tallied 16.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 30.3 minutes in 40 games played so far this season, connecting on 41% of his field goal attempts, 37% of his three-point field goal attempts and 86% of his attempts from the free throw line.
In his 5th NBA season, Young returns to Los Angeles where he starred for the University of Southern California from 2004-2007. He carries career averages of 11.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 22.9 minutes per game.
The Wizards made Young the 16th overall selection in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft after he led USC to the Sweet Sixteen of the 2007 NCAA Tournament and was named First Team All-Pac Ten in both 2006 and 2007.
Turiaf, acquired by Washington via trade from the New York Knicks on December 10,2011, appeared in just four games before fracturing his hand against Boston on January 1, 2012. He has averaged 5.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in 362 career games (90 starts).
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