Because the Rockets have been looking for a center seemingly forever, they've been linked a time or two to Nene in the past year. Now that Nene has opted out of his contract with the Denver Nuggets, he's going to be on the open market for Houston to sign.
A couple of problems with that, though. First of all, Nene stood to make $12 million before opting out of that contract. He had to think he could make more than that on the market to walk away from that much money. That means he's not going to be an easy sign, which means Houston may have to overpay for him. Is Nene really worth overpaying to get a legitimate center on the roster?
Secondly, it looks like the NBA owners will lock out the players starting at midnight Thursday. Without a new CBA, it's impossible to know what the free agency system will look like. Heck, there is even a chance that there is a hard salary cap, limiting how many teams bid on Nene. It's impossible to figure out what the financial situation will be after the bargaining is done, which makes Nene's situation even more precarious.
With all that going on, it's no done deal that Nene is headed to Houston, but him opting out is a sign in the right direction.