It should not come as a surprise that Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri is interested in power forward Kenneth Faried, Faried after all was one of his guys. Their interest was confirmed by Basketball Insiders Alex Kennedy.
“The Toronto Raptors have expressed interest in acquiring Denver Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried before Thursday’s trade deadline, league sources told Basketball Insiders.”
The former Nuggets general manager likes young players he can develop and that is probably why Faried received such favorable treatment while he was in Denver. The 22nd overall pick of the 2011 NBA draft, Faried played over 22 minutes per game as a rookie and over 28 minutes last season as a sophomore, just missing a double-double season average in points and rebounds last year.
However, under a new general manager and a new head coach this season, Faried’s playing time has been cut back and questions have been raised about his future under the tutelage of Brian Shaw according to The Denver Post’s Benjamin Hochman.
“Kenneth Faried is barely buying in. You can read between the lines in his quotes. You can see it in some of his decisions. Faried is either a key part of the future or a key part of a future trade.”
Faried was a young senior out of Moorehead State and now in his third NBA season, he is still only 24-years-old. If Ujiri is sold on his talent, Faried is precisely the kind of player he would like to add.
Unfortunately, as Faried is still on his rookie deal and earning just under $1.4 million, unless Ujiri is prepared to trade away one his prized first round draft picks, a straight up deal is going to be hard to consummate. Any trade is likely to get complicated assuming Denver even wants to move this uber-energetic forward.
There will be a lot of rumors about a lot of players over the next couple of days, but this one bares watching as both teams have reasons to be motivated to keep talking.
Raptors GM Ujiri Still Open To Trades
“I think we always want to get better, we want to continue to grow,” Ujiri said. “We have plenty of work to do. I’ll be right here waiting and we’ll see what happens. I never know what to expect. Sometimes it’s quiet until the last minute. Sometimes it’s busy.”