Safe to say, things aren’t looking great for the Denver Nuggets this year.
After completing the best regular season in the franchise’s history, things fell apart pretty quickly in the Mile High City. This offseason saw the departure of the team’s GM (and Executive of the Year) Masai Ujiri, the team’s head coach, George Karl, and the team’s best player, Andre Iguodala. They also lost Corey Brewer to free agency and will be without forward, Danilo Gallinari for at least a few months as he rehabs from a torn ACL suffered late last year.
They still have some nice pieces in point guard Ty Lawson, big man JaVale McGee and workhorse Kenneth Faried. When Gallinari comes back, and if youngster Evan Fournier can devolp, they have the makings of a solid team. But the days of being near the top of the Western Conference have faded as quick as they came.
Now, there are rumors that the front office may be looking to shake things up a bit. Over at Grantland, Zach Lowe wrote an article today in which he delivered some bold predictions for the coming season. One of those was that Faried would get traded at some point this season.
According to Lowe,
“Multiple sources around the league have reported in the last month that Denver has put out targeted feelers on Faried, gauging his value and demanding very good return. The Nuggets, for their part, deny they’ve put Faried’s name out there at all.”
It seems surprising that Faried would be thrown into trade rumors, but Lowe notes later on,
“Faried is entering the third season of his four-year rookie deal, and given his per-game numbers, he figures to get paid on his next contract. If the Nuggets believe Faried has hit his ceiling, and that his game lacks the all-around polish Brian Shaw has said he wants from his big men, it would make sense for Denver to see what it can get.”
Now a trade for Faried is unlikely at this point, considering all we have is that Denver has put out feelers to gauge other team’s interest. While he doesn’t have the offensive game to be a premier player in the league, Faried could be a fantastic addition to a contender with his defense and non-stop hustle. Surely there are countless team around the league interested in the “Manimal,” but they would have to be willing to give up a lot to get him.
It’s certainly something to keep an eye on as the season goes on.