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Toronto Raptors Reportedly Interested in Kenneth Faried Trade

New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (7) defends Denver Nuggets' Kenneth Faried (35) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press
Grant HughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2014

The Toronto Raptors already have analytics darling Amir Johnson and potential star Jonas Valanciunas up front, but that hasn't stopped them from inquiring about Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried.

Per Alex Kennedy of BasketballInsiders.com

The Toronto Raptors have expressed interest in acquiring Denver Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried before Thursday’s trade deadline, league sources told Basketball Insiders.

Denver is listening to offers for the 24-year-old, but nothing is imminent.

Faried's name has popped up in trade talks throughout the year. Recently, he was linked to the New York Knicks by ESPN's Marc Stein:

Despite the difficulties of an uncertain future, Faried has managed to remain productive. His 18.29 player efficiency rating is nearly identical to the 18.52 he posted in 2012-13, per Basketball-Reference.com.

Though the Raptors have a promising young frontcourt, it's not all that surprising they'd be intrigued by Faried. After all, general manager Masai Ujiri was the man who drafted him during his days in Denver's front office. And it's no secret Faried has always possessed one elite skill: rebounding.

When he was drafted, Faried explained on a conference call (via Nate Timmons of SB Nation) why his boarding talents would translate to the NBA: "Because I'm not scared. ...I have a never quit attitude."

Time has proved him right.

Perhaps Ujiri's affinity for the high-energy rebounder lingers.

As usual, Ujiri is taking the approach of targeting undervalued assets. After bursting onto the scene as a ferocious dunker with a nonstop motor, Faried has taken some criticism for his lack of defensive skill. That knock (an accurate one, by the way) has contributed to a reduction in his playing time this season.

He's still a young talent with a serious work ethic, though. There's potential here, and perhaps Toronto believes it's the place to bring it out of him.

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