Kenneth Faried Rumors

Latest On Nuggets, Ty Lawson, Kenneth Faried

May 26 at 1:00pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried are losing confidence in the Nuggets, and both have let the team know that unless it hires an inspiring name to fill the coaching vacancy or makes a significant trade, they’d rather be dealt away than go through rebuilding, as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders writes in his NBA AM piece. There was mutual trepidation between Faried and the Nuggets even as the sides signed a four-year, $50MM extension this past fall, Kyler hears.

Lawson and Faried, like many Nuggets players, were vocal in their support of Melvin Hunt after he took over the coaching job on an interim basis from the fired Brian Shaw, with whom Lawson had reportedly clashed. Lawson told Kyler in March that Hunt was “giving everybody confidence” and had all the Nuggets on the same page. Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post wrote around the same time that Faried was particularly ecstatic about Hunt and that he and his teammates would vote unanimously to remove Hunt’s interim tag and formally make him the team’s coach. Kyler writes in his latest piece that major changes to the roster might nonetheless bode well for Hunt’s chances of staying in the job, since Nuggets management sees him as a viable head man for a rebuilding team. Hunt’s chances of keeping the job have improved of late, as Marc Stein of reported last week. Team president Josh Kroenke  said last week that a “period of transition” was on its way and that the club would take an “aggressive” approach to finding the roster it wants.

Some within the Nuggets organization weren’t on board with the Faried extension, as Kevin Arnovitz of reported in November, a few weeks after the deal was signed. Arnovitz added that Nuggets brass consented to the extension in part because of the positive publicity it would generate, in spite of their doubts about Faried’s ability. The Nuggets were nonetheless hesitant to include Faried or Lawson in trades as of January, as Chris Mannix of wrote then, though people around the league sensed as the trade deadline approached that the Nuggets would part with them for a strong offer, according to Grantland’s Zach Lowe. The Celtics and Nuggets engaged in exploratory Lawson talks, as Lowe reported at the same time.

The Mavs and Lawson have mutual interest, as Kyler reported Monday, though Lawson has two more seasons left on his contract, so the Nuggets have leverage. Kings coach George Karl would love it if Sacramento traded for his old point guard, a person close to Karl told Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck, as Beck wrote in February. Lowe heard at the deadline that Denver wanted multiple first-round picks if it was to relinquish the former 18th overall pick. That was in spite of the tension and frustration between Lawson and the Nuggets organization that Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders reported, as well as GM Tim Connelly‘s call, shortly after the deadline, for Lawson to “grow up.”

Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Wolves, Batum

May 22 at 1:32pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The centerpieces for the Nuggets appear to be Danilo Gallinari and Jusuf Nurkic, as Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post sees it, and Kiszla finds it reasonable that the team will talk this summer about trading Ty Lawson, Kenneth Faried, or both. In any case, team president Josh Kroenke made it clear to Kiszla and fellow Post scribe Christopher Dempsey that he intends a strong push to find a star.

“There’s a period of transition that’s coming up, and we’re going to be aggressive … as an organization,” Kroenke said. “And continue to be aggressive until we feel we have the roster that truly can compete for something special.”

Kroenke judges by the volume of trade inquiries that he’s received from other teams, which include two calls since the season ended, that the players on Denver’s roster have plenty of value, Dempsey notes. There’s more on the Nuggets amid the latest from the Northwest Division:

  • The Timberwolves are tentatively planning a predraft workout with two-guards Rashad Vaughn from UNLV, J.P. Tokoto from North Carolina and Michael Frazier from Florida next month, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter links).
  • The prospect of a Nicolas Batum trade seemed far-fetched last summer, but now it’s a realistic possibility, as The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman writes in a roundtable piece with other Blazers beat writers. Freeman would nonetheless bet on Batum staying in Portland and having a bounceback season in 2015/16, the last on his contract.
  • Thunder GM Sam Presti wants to re-sign Enes Kanter and Kyle Singler, and that has to do with the team’s cap situation as much as the talent and production of the pair of soon-to-be restricted free agents, The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry posits. Let them go, and the Thunder wouldn’t have the cap flexibility to replace them, Mayberry points out.
  • Kroenke pointed to a lack of communication as the most unexpected shortcoming of Brian Shaw‘s tenure as Nuggets coach, as Dempsey writes in a separate piece.

Northwest Notes: Hunt, Neal, Gasol, Tomic

March 16 at 10:48am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Trail Blazers have never won a Northwest Division title, but they’re seemingly destined to do so this year, since they’re up nine games in the loss column on the Thunder with less than a month to go in the regular season. The last time Portland won a division title, in 1999, the team was in the Pacific Division. Here’s the latest on the teams looking up at the Blazers in the standings:

  • Nuggets players, and Kenneth Faried in particular, are ecstatic about interim coach Melvin Hunt and would unanimously vote to remove the interim tag from his title, observes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. However, owner Stan Kroenke is still dissatisfied with a team far from playoff contention, Dempsey also notes.
  • Timberwolves guard Gary Neal doesn’t regret chasing the money and leaving the Spurs to sign a two-year, $6.5MM deal in 2013 in part because he saw DeJuan Blair go from a starter to signing a minimum-salary contract in short order, as Neal tells Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. Neal will be a free agent again at season’s end.
  • Kevin Durant has posited that Oklahoma City’s lack of “orchestras and plays” dissuaded Pau Gasol from signing with the Thunder this past summer, but Gasol said this weekend that such cultural attractions weren’t a factor, according to The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry. The Bulls big man instead said it was a matter of on-court fit that led him to choose Chicago, as Mayberry relays.
  • Jazz draft-and-stash prospect Ante Tomic believes the offseason ahead is his last legitimate opportunity to join the NBA, and while he acknowledged that he’s in talks about a new deal with his Spanish team, he won’t rule out a jump to Utah. The 7’2″ center made his remarks to Jesús Pérez Ramos of Mundo Deportivo (translation via HoopsHype). FC Barcelona has a team option on the 28-year-old for next season, but the Jazz are reportedly willing to pay to buy Tomic out of his contract.

Celtics Engage In Exploratory Ty Lawson Talks

February 16 at 9:53am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Celtics and Nuggets have had exploratory conversations about a deal involving Ty Lawson, several sources tell Grantland’s Zach Lowe. People around the league sense that a team could pry Lawson or Kenneth Faried from the Nuggets for an especially intriguing offer, Lowe hears. The Nuggets are a hub of activity leading up to Thursday’s 2pm Central trade deadline, and Jusuf Nurkic is the only Nuggets player truly off-limits, several league sources said to Lowe. Still, Denver’s setting high prices, as the Grantland scribe suggests the Nuggets are looking for multiple first-round picks in return for each of Arron Afflalo and Wilson Chandler instead of just one for each, as previous reports indicated. He also hints that the Nuggets have spoken to the Wizards about Chandler and Afflalo, though that point isn’t entirely clear.

Boston would be an odd fit for Lawson, since the Celtics have 2014 No. 6 overall pick Marcus Smart at the point after trading Rajon Rondo, and Lowe writes that Boston won’t relinquish Smart in any deal for Lawson. Still, Lawson is tied for the league lead with a career-high 10.1 assists per game, and his salary of nearly $11.596MM would fit within Boston’s massive trade exception worth more than $12.909MM left over from the Rondo trade, so the Nuggets could offload his salary without taking anyone back. Lawson has two more seasons on his deal, worth $12.404MM in 2015/16 and $13.213MM in 2016/17.

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw has clashed with the point guard at times this season, according to Lowe, who nonetheless downplays the significance of that conflict. Denver appeared to be against the idea of putting Lawson in a deal for Brook Lopez last month, and while another report suggested Denver was willing to trade the 27-year-old, the asking price from GM Tim Connelly and company was a turn-off to would-be suitors.

Raptors Eye David West, Taj Gibson, Faried?

February 5 at 9:43am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Raptors are “sniffing around” for an upgrade at power forward, writes Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, who hears from league sources who mention David West, Taj Gibson and Kenneth Faried, among others, in connection with Toronto. However, the Raptors aren’t willing to part with much in return, though they’d like to part with expiring contracts if it would net a frontcourt upgrade, Kyler adds.

West makes $12MM this year, and Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird said this week that while the 34-year-old hadn’t given him any indication of whether he intended to exercise his $12.6MM player option for next season, he anticipated West would return to Indiana. Bird also said the Pacers are in “win-now mode,” which would suggest that he doesn’t have any interest in trading West for expiring deals.

Sean Deveney of The Sporting News on Wednesday loosely connected Gibson to the Raptors, as well as the Suns, Pistons and Blazers, though it’s unclear if Chicago has any willingness to part with the key reserve, even amid a crowded frontcourt for the Bulls this season. The 29-year-old is in year two of a four-year extension that’ll pay him $8MM this season with salaries that escalate to $8.95MM in 2016/17.

The Nuggets don’t want to part with Faried, as Chris Mannix of wrote last week, seemingly counter to an early-season report indicating that the Nuggets weren’t sold on Faried even after signing him in October to a four-year extension worth at least $50MM. The 25-year-old’s shot attempts and points per game are off this season compared to last year even after a breakout performance with Team USA this summer.

Incumbent Raptors starting power forward Amir Johnson is on an expiring contract that’s worth $7MM to him this season, while Landry Fields, Chuck Hayes, Louis Williams, Tyler Hansbrough and Greg Stiemsma are the other Raptors set for free agency this summer. Kyler suggests that the Raptors would be willing to give up any one of their players on expiring contracts aside from Williams. Toronto has more than $49MM in commitments against a projected $66.5MM salary cap for next season, so any deal that gives up a soon-to-be free agent for a player with guaranteed money for next season would cut into what figures to be fairly significant cap flexibility.

The Raptors are in second place in the Eastern Conference, and though they’ve lost their past two games, they won six in a row at the end of January. Still, the team has mismatched parts and will be in major trouble if GM Masai Ujiri doesn’t make a move, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun opines (All Twitter links).

Mannix’s Latest: Allen, Lopez, Nuggets, Thunder

January 30 at 11:17am CDT By Chuck Myron

People around the league increasingly believe that Ray Allen already knows the team he would like to play for this season, and that he’s simply deciding whether he wants to play at all, Chris Mannix of writes. Allen has hinted within the past two weeks that he’s coming back to the NBA, but another more recent report indicated that he’s enjoying time with his family. Mannix has a ton of noteworthy items in his latest weekly column, many of them with a Thunder-centric theme, and we’ll hit the highlights here.

  • The Nuggets are still trying to pry Brook Lopez from the Nets with a package centered on JaVale McGee, according to Mannix. Still, Denver doesn’t want to put Ty Lawson, Kenneth Faried, Jusuf Nurkic or Wilson Chandler into any deal, Mannix cautions.
  • The Thunder are willing to go deep into the luxury tax this season to acquire Lopez, the scribe writes. Oklahoma City is unwilling to give up any of its top present-day talent, nor will the team make a move that damages its future as the Thunder look for trade partners who are “desperate,” an opposing GM tells Mannix.
  • Reggie Jackson turned down an extension offer from Oklahoma City that would have made him the most highly paid backup in the NBA, a source tells Mannix. Just what sort of salary that would have meant is unclear, since Amar’e Stoudemire has made more appearances off the bench than he has starts on a deal that gives him in excess of $23.4MM this season. Some teams believed at the beginning of the season that there was a decent chance that Jackson would command offers of between $13MM and $14MM in restricted free agency this summer, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports wrote in October.
  • Several executives from around the NBA believe it’s conceivable that a five-year max deal for Kevin Durant will be worth some $200MM when he hits free agency in 2016, according to Mannix. Durant will be eligible for a max worth about 35% of the salary cap as a 10-year veteran that summer. Those execs also believe that Durant likes playing in Oklahoma City, as he’s said, Mannix writes.
  • Markieff Morris believes he and brother Marcus Morris might have made more money in restricted free agency this summer if they hadn’t signed extensions with the Suns, but Markieff can’t envision ever playing without his twin again, as he tells Mannix.

Northwest Notes: Faried, Pekovic, Nuggets

December 9 2014 at 5:30pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Kenneth Faried has had a rough start to the season, something that Nuggets coach Brian Shaw chalks up to inconsistent energy and play on the part of the forward, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post writes. “It’s really hard to say,” Shaw said. “Obviously, he’s disappointed in the way he’s played up to this point. There hasn’t been a level of consistency. One of the things that I try to remind him all the time is what made him, got him to this level, got him paid recently, is the fact that he’s always brought energy and always rebounded the ball. When you look at his stats up to this point, is the energy always there? I wouldn’t say that it consistently has been. But even before that, is he rebounding the ball the way he is known for rebounding the ball? He’s not doing that either. So no matter what happens, you get back to the basics of what got you here. And I think that’s what he has to do.”

Here’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Shaw also relayed that Faried’s four-year, $50MM extension that the player signed back in October may also be a factor in Faried’s struggles, Dempsey adds. “He’s [Faried] been a little bit beat-up and a little bit sore,” Shaw said. “But what comes when you have the kind of summer that he had, and you get paid for that, there’s a certain responsibility and expectation that go along with that, too. And there’s an adjustment period. Now there’s other guys around the league that maybe think that ‘If I was playing maybe he wouldn’t be on the US team’ or ‘If he’s making this much money, let me show him what I’m worth.’ And that’s all part of it, too. Now, you become the hunted instead of the hunter, and you have to adjust for that and brace for that.
  • Wolves center Nikola Pekovic aggravated his injured ankle while running as a part of his rehab and will most likely be out another month, Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune reports (Twitter link). Injured point guard Ricky Rubio is also unlikely to make his return to action until January, Zgoda adds.
  • Pekovic’s coach Flip Saunders hinted at the possibility that the big man could see a stint in the NBA D-League prior to returning to action for the Wolves, Andy Greder of The Saint Paul Pioneer Press reports (Twitter link).

Nuggets Rumors: Connelly, Faried, Trades

November 17 2014 at 3:20pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Nuggets GM Tim Connelly isn’t overreacting to his team’s slow start, as we passed along earlier, but he nonetheless acknowledges that no player’s job is entirely secure, writes Kevin Arnovitz of

“Every player on our roster is a movable asset,” Connelly said. “Certainly you don’t want to view players as assets, but there’s a part of you in the front office that has to be brutally honest with how these guys are viewed leaguewide. We don’t have a guy on the roster we’d have to heavily incentivize to move.”

Arnovitz paints a bleak picture surrounding the 2-7 Nuggets in his piece, and it’s worth a full read, particularly for Denver fans. We’ll pass along the highlights here:

  • Multiple sources tell Arnovitz that Denver still isn’t sold on Kenneth Faried but signed him to his four-year, $50MM extension last month in part as a PR move, given the power forward’s popularity among fans and his Team USA performance. Some within the Nuggets “take exception” to the deal, Arnovitz hears.
  • The Nuggets leaked the initial terms of the deal, which were five years at $60MM, because they weren’t aware that the Designated Player rule, which any five-year rookie scale extension would trigger, required that the first-year salary be for the maximum amount, according to Arnovitz. The team’s lack of collective bargaining agreement knowledge wasn’t isolated to Faried’s contract, as the Nuggets called another team to propose a trade that wouldn’t have worked under the league’s rules, as a rival executive tells Arnovitz.
  • The ESPN scribe hears from a source who suggests that when owner and team president Josh Kroenke was looking for a new GM in 2013, what appealed most about Connelly was his relative inexperience and willingness to defer to Kroenke.

Nuggets Sign Kenneth Faried To Extension

October 8 2014 at 7:12pm CDT By Chuck Myron

WEDNESDAY, 7:12pm: The deal is official, the team has announced. GM Tim Connelly said of Faried, “We value the energy and excitement that Kenneth brings night-in and night-out and we are thrilled to have reached an agreement on a contract extension. We are truly looking forward to watching Kenneth continue to grow as a player and leader for the Denver Nuggets.”

TUESDAY, 6:52pm: The deal contains incentives that could inflate the total value to $52MM over four years, reports Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post (via Twitter).

6:27pm: The deal has been reworked and will be a four-year, $50MM extension, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The sticking point for the league, as Wojnarowski reported yesterday, was converting the pact from five years to four to comply with the provisions of the Designated Player rule that demand a player receives the maximum salary in the first year of an extension that covers five seasons. (Twitter links).

7:58am: The most likely outcome involves Faried ending up with a four-year, $48MM extension that runs through the 2018/19 season, perhaps with some incentive clauses that could lift the value of the deal, writes Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post.

MONDAY, 9:39am: The Nuggets are talking with the NBA about just how the extension can be structured under the rules, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Wojnarowski indicates that the original intention was to make it a five-year extension, but that it could wind up as a four-year deal. The Yahoo! scribe calls the collective bargaining agreement language that mandates the maximum salary in the first season of an extension for a Designated Player “ambiguous, at best.”

8:34am: The Nuggets and Kenneth Faried struck a deal Sunday night on a five-year, $60MM extension, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. It’s not entirely clear whether Wojnarowski means that the extension will cover five seasons by itself or the four years that follow this coming season. That’s because $60MM almost certainly wouldn’t be enough to cover the provisions of the Designated Player rule that would mandate that Faried receive the maximum salary in the first year of an extension that covers five seasons. In any case, the final season will be partially guaranteed, giving the Nuggets a chance to save $8MM that year in the seemingly unlikely event that they waive the power forward.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Golden State WarriorsThe Nuggets jumped into extension discussions with agent Thad Foucher in July, the earliest they could have come to a deal. It appears the conversation was slow-going, but according to Wojnarowski, the sides began to exchange “serious proposals” this week. Faried, who turns 25 next month, no doubt helped his cause with a breakout performance at the FIBA World Cup in late August and early September, when he averaged 12.4 points and 7.8 rebounds in just 21.5 minutes per game for Team USA. I wrote in late July that Faried seemed in line for a four-year, $44MM deal, and a GM told Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that he envisioned annual salaries below $10MM for Faried before the World Cup boosted his estimation into the range of Al Jefferson‘s $13.5MM yearly paydays.

The former No. 22 pick had already begun to change perceptions with his improvement last season. His name appeared in a handful of early-season trade rumors, and the Nuggets, worried that Foucher would seek $10MM+ annual salaries, reportedly brought him up in trade discussions at about this time last year. The “Manimal” convinced the Nuggets he was worth that kind of money, setting a career high with 13.7 PPG in 27.2 MPG in his third NBA season, a rate that extrapolates to 18.1 points per 36 minutes, the best mark of anyone on the team who played at least 1,000 total minutes. He also recorded a team-high 19.8 PER. Still, he’s not a strong defender, as Cray Allred of Hoops Rumors noted in August when he examined Faried as an extension candidate.

Nuggets GM Tim Connelly and Faried both expressed interest over the offseason in a long-term future with each other, so it’s not surprising to see the sides come to terms. Depending on how Faried’s $60MM will be spread, the Nuggets will have about $60MM in total salaries for 2015/16. Still, it’s possible that Denver will have cap room that exceeds the value of the largest mid-level exception next summer, particularly if the cap rises to $70MM, as some teams project.

Western Notes: Nedovic, Gasol, Faried

October 8 2014 at 5:56pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Nemanja Nedovic said that the Warriors haven’t given him any indication on whether or not the team’s third-year option on his contract will be picked up, Diamond Leung of The Bay Area News Group writes. Golden State has until October 31st to decide on Nedovic’s option.

Here’s more from out west:

  • Pau Gasol doesn’t have fond memories of being a free agent this past summer, writes Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Talking about the process that led him to sign with the Bulls, Gasol said, “It was a difficult decision; it was a difficult process to go through and I don’t wish to go through it again because it was just very stressful. My phone was blowing up. It got to points in the day where I just didn’t want to be by my phone so I just put it away. I don’t know who called at those times. I tried to return the calls and the messages as much as I could, because I was trying to be respectful and appreciative of the people that had interest in me. I did not expect nor anticipate that it was going to be that hectic and that stressful. So first it was hard for me to make the decision to move on from the team that I’ve been a part of and been through so much with – the Lakers. Then, after that, it was, ‘Okay, where do I want to play?’”
  • The Kings have hired David Arseneault Jr. as head coach of the Reno Bighorns, Sacramento’s D-League affiliate, the team announced via a press release. Arseneault was previously working as an assistant at Grinnell College, a Division III program. The Kings presumably hired him to implement and teach Grinnell’s high-scoring offensive system, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports notes.
  • One of the big worries with signing players to big dollar contracts is if the pressure to live up to the numbers will hamper the player. Kenneth Faried isn’t letting his new windfall from the Nuggets affect him, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post writes. When asked if he was feeling added weight because of the contract extension, Faried said, No, I really don’t care. There’s no pressure, it’s just money. It’s not a big deal. I love the game so I’m going to continue to play the game like I’ve been playing. My mind has been at ease and I’ve been grinding.”