Kenneth Faried has had a solid and sturdy career for the Denver Nuggets. Although relatively undersized for his position at 6’8″ his motor to play the game is off the charts. He prides himself on doing the dirty work, and is always in the mix when it comes to rebounding and loose balls. Now in his 6th NBA season, the 27 year old is playing only 24.1 minutes per game (the fewest in his career aside from his rookie season). He is also averaging a career low in points (9.5) and field goal percentage (48.6%). A usual starter for the majority of his career, Faried has already played in eight games in which he has not started. The Nuggets do not have any bigs that are averaging over 30 minutes per game. Gallinari, Mudiay, and Chandler are the only three players to claim that honor. This means that Mike Malone has not figured out the right recipe for his bigs in terms of playing time.
Surrounded by trade rumors for the past couple of years, it is time to rekindle that discussion for Faried. He does not fit the future of the Nuggets organization and where they are headed. The Nuggets need to roll with Jusuf Nurkic (22 years of age) and Nikola Jokic (21 years of age) for the years to come. Nurkic is a big 7-footer who is averaging a career high in points, rebounds, assists, and is shooting 50% from the field. Jokic was a member of the NBA All-Rookie first team just a season ago. Extremely gifted and skilled on the offensive end, Jokic pairs nicely next to Nurkic and can spread out the floor at the power forward position. Both Nurkic and Jokic should be playing at least 30 minutes per game on a consistent basis. They need the experience to grow and improve. Moving Faried would also open up minutes for the rookie Juan Hernangomez to get some more playing time. He is only playing 11.5 minutes per game, but has shown potential shooting the 3 ball (41.2%). Darrell Arthur will continue to serve as the safety blanket coming off the bench because you pretty much know what you are going to get out of him.
The Nuggets have an extremely young team, and they have the chance to be dangerous in the years to come. Mudiay, Harris (when he comes back), Barton, and Murray form quite the young guard group. Malik Beasley is another young guard who might have to wait his time, but he has great upside. Gallinari and Chandler are getting older but have been great scorers on the wing. And then they have Nurkic and Jokic as the two bigs for the future. Faried’s time is just simply up in Denver. The effort he has put into this franchise is second to none, but it is time for him to find a new home. He needs a change of scenery, and it would be nice to see him on a contender. Faried is a great player to have on your team because he brings consistent energy to your organization. He can really help out a new team that could use his passion. The Nuggets should shop Faried for a future draft pick, or maybe a young small forward.