With less than one week remaining for the Denver Nuggets to sign Nene to a contract extension, it appears the fourth-year power forward will become a restricted free- agent in the summer.
The deadline for negotiating an extension is Monday, and there has been little movement between the Nuggets and agent Michael Coyne.
"I know my price," Nene said. "I know my price. I know I'm going to do good this season."
When it comes to 23-year-old, 6-foot-11, 260-pound forwards who can run the floor and move people out of the low block, it is a seller's market.
Nene has taken out an insurance policy against injury in the event he plays out the final year of his Nuggets deal. He said Monday he does not expect to sign an extension in the next six days.
Nene, who has averaged 10.7 points and 6.2 rebounds in his first three seasons, is believed to be seeking a deal similar to the six-year, $64 million contract Philadelphia 76ers center Samuel Dalembert signed in July.
Dalembert has averaged 6.9 points and 6.6 rebounds in three seasons. He spent 2002-03 on the injured list.
"Nowadays, they're letting anybody get big money on the free- agent market," Nuggets center Marcus Camby said. "Nene's probably the best running big man we have in this league. Regardless, he going to get paid, either here or from somebody else."