5 NBA Teams That Would Be Perfect Partners in Potential Kenneth Faried Trade
Folks at the Pepsi Center might revolt, as he's become such a fan favorite there thanks to his contagious personality, non-stop hustle, high-flying dunks and dreadlocks. However, it's still a possibility.
There's been a lot of smoke around the league that Denver's made Faried available in trade talk. The Nuggets, of course, deny it, which means it's likely true.
The Nuggets have been unhappy with Faried's defense this season, and aren't inclined at the moment to give him a huge deal. They've already got $79 million committed the next two seasons to Lawson, JaVale McGee and Danilo Gallinari.
Because the undersized big man is eligible for a contract extension at the end of the 2013-14 season, the Nuggets don't have much time to make their decision. They can either sign him to a lengthy deal or let him play out his contract and become a restricted free agent in 2015.
If they're not going to pay him, they may as well trade him now. Right?
But what could they get for a power forward who has taken a step back this year?
Faried is averaging only 10.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, failing to make any sort of leap during his third season out of Morehead State. During late November, head coach Brian Shaw told Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post, "I think early on in the season he wanted to prove to everybody that he expanded his game."
Unfortunately, that's no longer working.
Even though he's only 24 years old and still on his rookie contract, he's already developed into a bit of a known commodity.
And that makes it hard to find reasonable trades that center around him. Nevertheless, we soldier on.
Boston Celtics receive: Kenneth Faried, Andre Miller
Denver Nuggets receive: Jeff Green
For the Boston Celtics, this is all about trading the present for the future.
Kenneth Faried and Andre Miller may already be quality players, but it's what happens next that could get general manager Danny Ainge to swing a deal and bring them both to Beantown.
Faried is up for an extension at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, so the C's could check and see whether it's worth giving him a reasonable deal. And if he's not, they can use a full season of his energetic services—which would look great alongside Rajon Rondo—before deciding whether or not to match any offers he receives as a restricted free agent.
Meanwhile, Andre Miller only has $2 million guaranteed for 2014-15, which allows Boston to free up more cap space and jump-start the rebuilding process.
Losing Jeff Green hurts, but not so much when he's saddled with an albatross of a contract. The small forward is a quality secondary option, but not at $9 million per year. Denver can afford to eat that deal, though, especially because the team should be looking to swing a few more deals after the end of the current season.
Charlotte Bobcats receive: Kenneth Faried, Andre Miller
Denver Nuggets receive: Bismack Biyombo, Brendan Haywood, Jeff Taylor, 2014 second-round pick
The Charlotte Bobcats are buyers at the deadline, so why wouldn't they ship off a young big and two injured players for a couple of guys who can help them achieve their goal of making the playoffs in the weak Eastern Conference?
Bismack Biyomobo's defense is valuable, as is Jeff Taylor's when he's actually healthy, but neither of them can contribute like the duo of Kenneth Faried and Andre Miller.
The former would be an immediate upgrade in the frontcourt rotation, and his high-flying athletic ways would be a nice change of pace while surrounded by finesse players and guys who don't contribute on the offensive end. The latter might be having a rough season, but he'd still be a quality backup for Kemba Walker.
Charlotte is 23-29, leaving it right in the No. 8 spot. With the Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers charging, the 'Cats need to make a change or two in order to stave off the competition.
Denver doesn't get a whole lot in this trade right now, but the future would get a little brighter in the Mile High City. A second-round pick and two high-potential youngsters doesn't sound too bad.
Cleveland Cavaliers receive: Kenneth Faried, Andre Miller
Denver Nuggets receive: Dion Waiters, Earl Clark
The Cleveland Cavaliers could use one more high-character guy, and Kenneth Faried's effusive energy and omnipresent ear-to-ear grin would be a welcome change of pace for the beleaguered organization. Not to mention Andre Miller, who would almost certainly be enthused to call some city other than Denver home.
Of course, they'd help on the basketball court as well.
Miller would give the Cavs another capable ball-handler during his newest stint with the Cavs, and unlike Dion Waiters, he'd actually promote ball movement rather than taking one field-goal attempt after another.
It's harder to see Faried fitting into the rotation, but he'd immediately compete with—and push—Tristan Thompson for the starting power forward gig. At the very least, the long-haired big man would play heavy minutes off the bench, as he's far more useful than either Anthony Bennett or Tyler Zeller.
Of the five trades featured in this slideshow, this is one of the two best returns for the Nuggets.
Earl Clark has value in the right situation, but it's all about Dion Waiters. Despite his struggles with the Cavs, the second-year 2-guard has high upside, especially on the offensive end of the court.
He'd immediately lessen the pressure on Ty Lawson, and he'd be a big part of the future plans in the Mile High City.
Houston Rockets receive: Kenneth Faried
Denver Nuggets receive: Donatas Motiejunas, Isaiah Canaan, 2014 second-round pick (via New York Knicks), 2015 second-round pick
Can you imagine how dangerous the Houston Rockets would be if they managed to trot out Kenneth Faried in the starting lineup without losing any of their best players?
Houston is already holding down the fort at No. 5 in the Western Conference, and the team is within striking distance of a top-two spot. Only the Oklahoma City Thunder feel untouchable, and the Rockets trail the San Antonio Spurs—the current No. 2—by only a pair of games.
As well as Jones has been playing, Faried is still an upgrade. His energy would fit in perfectly with the fast-paced system Kevin McHale uses, and watching him and Dwight Howard crash the boards would be a spectacle in and of itself.
Although he wouldn't space the court nearly as well as Jones, his energy is undeniable. He'd draw defenders out to some extent, even though he wouldn't be focused on offense.
With the added depth and skill in the starting lineup, it would be hard to deny Houston "true contender" status. Although it would be tough to keep everyone together when both Parsons and Faried are up for extensions, the shot at a title over the next two years is worth it for star-chasing general manager Daryl Morey.
As for the Nuggets, they're getting back a decent amount here, even if it doesn't initially seem like it.
Donatas Motiejunas and Isaiah Canaan aren't exactly high-upside prospects, but two second-round picks in the next two years is a nice get. Remember, we're assuming that the Nuggets sell low on Faried because they know they won't eventually re-sign him.
New York Knicks
New York Knicks receive: Kenneth Faried
Denver Nuggets receive: Iman Shumpert, 2017 second-round pick
Marc Stein has the scoop on this one, via Twitter: "Hearing that Knicks are trying again to re-engage Denver and sell Nuggets on idea of trade built around Shumpert-for-Faried before deadline."
Note that he says the deal is only built around Kenneth Faried and Iman Shumpert. More can be added in, and it'll need to be, as B/R's Dan Favale makes clear:
Although their salaries match up almost perfectly, it's difficult to imagine Denver dealing Faried—who is averaging 10.5 points and 7.6 rebounds on 54.7 percent shooting—for an inconsistent perimeter player with deteriorating athleticism.
The New York Knicks are going to need to do a little sweetening.
Last time this deal was reported, by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News back in November, nothing came to fruition. The rumors fell flat on their face thanks to New York's hesitation to include a draft pick, and now we're left restarting them a couple months later.
If it's going to happen this time, the Knicks will ultimately have to cave and include the second-rounder in the distant future. Thats the only way the Nuggets could feel like they're getting enough in return, as Faried's career has been far more impressive than Shumpert's thus far.
Maybe if the Knicks had been more patient with the formerly flat-topped 2-guard, things would be different.