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Denver Nuggets Shopping Kenneth Faried At The Draft?

It seems that ever since the Denver Nuggets signed forward Kenneth Faried to his four-year $50 million extension last October there have been rumblings about President Josh Kroenke having second thoughts. Losing can to that to an organization.

Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post believes Kroenke wants to change things big time.

“We’re going to be aggressive this summer as an organization, and continue to be aggressive until we feel we have the roster that can truly compete for something special,” Kroenke said.

“There’s a lot of ways to skin the cat. But one of them is through free agency, one of them is through the draft and the other one is through trades. We’re going to try to improve our roster until we truly have that core of guys who can compete for something for a lengthy period of time.”

Kiszla listens to what Kroenke says, looks at the organization and draws the logical conclusion. Trades, big trades are going down this summer.

While Kroenke steadfastly refuses to offer specific names when talking about plans to aggressively retool the roster prior to opening night of the next NBA season, it’s realistic to expect point guard Ty Lawson or forward Kenneth Faried or both to be part of trade discussions prior to the June 25 draft.

While Faried isn’t a franchise player he could be described as the ultimate energizer bunny. A 6’6 (without shoes) power forward, Faried is non-stop motion on the court who takes full advantage of his 7′ wingspan and 35″ vertical jump. Being undersized can create issues in the post as almost every player at his position is taller and Faried’s offensive game is limited, however, he is a proven and consistent finisher around the basket.

Perhaps the biggest reason for moving Faried along is the lack of growth. Over his first four seasons Faried has averaged 12.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, 0.9 blocks, 0.9 steals, 26.9 minutes and takes about 90 percent of his shots within 10 feet of the rim – numbers that have barely changed from year-to-year. The Nuggets and every other team have a good handle on what to expect from Faried in the future.

One team that has been rumored to be interested in Faried for some time is the Toronto Raptors. President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri drafted Faried when he was the GM in Denver and it’s assumed he would love to add the energizer bunny to his current roster.

The situation in Toronto is worth watching as Ujiri has young prospects, a first round draft pick that will be tough to add to a playoff roster and two unrestricted free agent power forwards in Tyler Hansbrough and Amir Johnson. Ujiri has to be looking at power forward options for next season and Faried could be the solution, assuming Kroenke can stomach dealing with the GM that arguably left him with his team’s current problems.



Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.