The Nuggets plan to make Kenneth Faried a part of their long-term plans by opening contract extension talks with the power forward and his agent, Thad Foucher, this summer, reports Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. Nuggets GM Tim Connelly said, “We’ll talk to his representation. I think Kenneth is happy here. I think he’s really embraced what (Coach) Brian (Shaw) is trying to instill. Those are the type of guys that deserve to get paid.”
Connelly also said, “Kenneth was great this year. I think there was an adjustment period with Kenneth and Brian. And for the last couple of months he was playing at as high a level as anybody. He’s the heart and soul of our team. His consistent energy and toughness, I was really happy to see. I think he grew this year. I think he really improved on both ends, not just the offensive end. He’s a guy that’s going to play a huge role in our success moving forward.”
Faried is coming off his best season as a pro, during which he averaged a career-high 13.7 PPG and 8.6 RPG while shooting 54.5 percent from the field, which was eighth best in the NBA. Dempsey opines that it was Faried’s post-All Star break performance that helped solidify him as a key cog in the team’s future. After the All-Star game he averaged a team-high 18.8 PPG and 10.1 RPG. The Nuggets were 17-10 in games in which he recorded a double-double, notes Dempsey.
Coach Brian Shaw was adamant after the season that he wanted Faried back on the team, reports Dempsey. “I definitely want to have him back and expect to have him back,” Shaw said. Faried was the subject of a number of trade rumors during the course of the season.
Faried is entering the final year of his rookie-scale contract, which will pay him $2.2MM during the 2014/15 season. The extension cannot be signed until the July moratorium ends, and would have to be completed by October 31st. Dempsey believes that Faried will seek a deal in at least the $10MM-$11MM per season range.