Nonstop denials aside, the Denver Nuggets are fielding offers for veteran forward Kenneth Faried as the league trade deadline approaches.
It’s not that the Nuggets have soured on Faried or value him any less than what they have over his first four years with the organization. Truth of the matter is the Nuggets roster is riddled with frontcourt players and, more or less, just Ty Lawson in the backcourt. The cause hasn’t been helped by the season-ending knee injury to Nate Robinson and exile of Andre Miller.
And now with Lawson too sidelined with a broken rib at least for at least the time being, Denver knows if they’re ever going to add quality depth to the position they’re going to have to offer something of equal value.
That’s where the 24-year-old, career averaging 11 points and eight rebounds Faried comes in, rendering all the Nuggets’ incessant claims of denial essentially moot in terms of their real-life substance.
“There’s been a lot of smoke around the league that Denver’s made Faried available in trade talk,” wrote NBA.com’s David Aldridge. “The Nuggets, of course, deny it, which means it’s likely true.”
Adding yet another layer to the equation is Faried has a player-option after the 2014-15 season and the Nuggets are already on the hook for nearly $80 million over the next two seasons to Lawson, McGee and the injured Danilo Gallinari.
Faried, who is regarded as one of the league’s best young forwards, is rumored to be seeking a long term deal in the neighborhood of the roughly on average four-year, $40 million packages the Bulls and Bucks gave Taj Gibson and Larry Sanders, respectively.
Revered as the “The Manimal,” Faried’s rebounding numbers have dipped from 9.2 last year to 7.6 this season in roughly the same amount of playing time. Basketball-reference.com also notes his defensive wins shares have dropped from 3.4 last season to 1.4 this season.
Faried’s best season came in 2012-13 when he averaged 12 points and nine rebounds in leading the Nuggets to a 57-25 regular season finish.