The Nuggets are “aggressively” looking to shed salary by trading Kenneth Faried, reports Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, citing a source with knowledge of the trade market.
Cunningham, an Atlanta-based reporter, notes that the Hawks are open to the possibility of accommodating Denver in a deal for Faried. The Hawks would want to acquire draft picks or young players for taking on Faried’s $13.76MM expiring contract, according to Cunningham, who adds that Malik Beasley and Tyler Lydon are among the Nuggets’ young players who may be expendable. I’d add Juan Hernangomez to that list too.
As I explained when I previewed the Nuggets’ offseason earlier this week, signing Nikola Jokic and Will Barton to new deals this summer would take Denver’s team salary well over the tax line unless the club can cut costs elsewhere. The best way for the Nuggets to trim salary would be by cutting or releasing players like Faried and Darrell Arthur, who are on pricey expiring deals. As such, it comes as no surprise that Faried is on the trade block.
As for the Hawks, this is the second time today that we’ve heard about their willingness to eat salary in a trade if it nets them valuable assets. Atlanta could have more than $30MM+ in cap room, depending on whether players with non-guaranteed contracts or player options return, and the club probably won’t make a splash in free agency, so it makes sense that GM Travis Schlenk would be open to taking on other teams’ unwanted contracts.
The Hawks and Nuggets both figure to have other potential trade options available, as Cunningham notes, so there’s no guarantee that the two teams will come together on a deal.