Kenneth Faried

Western Rumors: Gasol, Faried, T-Wolves, Young

While a handful of Western Conference teams have made major roster moves so far this offseason, the Grizzlies have been fairly quiet. The team reached an agreement to sign Ben McLemore, but also lost Zach Randolph and has yet to lock up its other free agents like JaMychal Green and Tony Allen.

With their window of contention potentially closing, would the Grizzlies consider moving Marc Gasol? Two league executives suggest to Chris Mannix of The Vertical that Gasol is a player worth keeping an eye on as a possible trade candidate. Mannix’s note is tucked away in a larger piece about the Celtics‘ next moves, and as he points out, Gasol would make a lot of sense as a target for Boston. However, there’s no indication that any talks have happened or that Memphis is even considering such a roster shake-up, so it sounds like speculation at this point.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Teams are calling the Nuggets to inquire about Kenneth Faried, tweets Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype. With Paul Millsap arriving in Denver, the Nuggets’ frontcourt is getting crowded, and the team probably wouldn’t mind getting out from under Faried’s contract, so a trade remains a possibility.
  • Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News, who reported on Tuesday that the Pacers might be interested in working out a sign-and-trade deal with the Timberwolves for C.J. Miles, suggests that Indiana is further along on a Miles sign-and-trade scenario with another team (Twitter link). Meanwhile, Minnesota is waiting on Nick Young, having made him a two-year offer that is likely worth the room exception, tweets Wolfson.
  • In other Timberwolves news, first-round pick Justin Patton won’t be participating in Summer League with the club, having suffered a foot fracture during a workout, the team announced on Tuesday. Patton underwent surgery to repair a broken fifth metatarsal in his left foot and will be sidelined indefinitely, per the team.

Nuggets Still Eyeing George Hill?

The Nuggets made their first big splash of the offseason on Sunday night, reaching an agreement on a $90MM deal with Paul Millsap. However, the team may not be done going after top free agents quite yet. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer (via Twitter), a source says to expect the Nuggets to continue their pursuit of George Hill if they can move some salary.

As O’Connor suggests, the Nuggets don’t currently have the cap flexibility to make a competitive offer for Hill, with nearly $30MM of their 2017/18 cap now earmarked for Millsap. However, Denver has trade options. With Millsap, Nikola Jokic, Juan Hernangomez, and RFA Mason Plumlee looking like the team’s core pieces at the four and five, that leaves several of the other team’s highest-paid players in flux.

O’Connor identifies both Kenneth Faried ($12.92MM) and Darrell Arthur ($7.46MM) as potential trade chips if Denver looks to dump salary. I’d imagine Wilson Chandler ($12.02MM) could also be had in the right deal, though the Nuggets would likely prefer to keep him around, since he has the ability to play the three as well as the four. Trey Lyles ($2.44MM) is also in the frontcourt picture for the club, though moving him wouldn’t create much additional cap room.

The Nuggets were linked to multiple veteran point guards earlier in free agency, with Hill named among their potential targets. Denver reportedly reached out to the Jazz point guard during the first hour of free agency on Saturday morning, and a report later on Saturday suggested the Nuggets and Pacers were among the teams that had gone a little down the road with Hill.

If the Nuggets are able to move salary and get something done for Hill, it all but eliminates a reunion with Danilo Gallinari as a possibility for the club. Given Denver’s frontcourt depth after landing Millsap, I imagine the team isn’t pushing too hard at this point to get a new deal done with Gallinari anyway.

Cavs Rumors: Trade Talks, Shumpert, Frye, Billups

Although an ESPN report classified pre-draft trade talks between the Cavaliers, Nuggets, and Pacers regarding Paul George and Kevin Love as “serious,” Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com spoke to a source who downplayed the rumor, suggesting a deal was never close and is unlikely to happen now.

Vardon suggests that the Pacers “obviously weren’t interested” in their end of the potential trade, which is corroborated by Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net. According to Amico, the Cavaliers and Nuggets both wanted to get something done, but the Pacers were hesitant. Amico notes that the exact details of the proposed offer aren’t known, but Indiana likely would’ve received one player from Cleveland and at least two from Denver, including Kenneth Faried.

Here’s more from out of Cleveland:

  • The Cavs are having trouble finding teams willing to take on the contracts of Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye, according to Amico, who says Cleveland would like to move both players before training camp. One GM of a lottery team tells Amico that his club may be willing to trade for Frye later, but only after waiting to see how his roster takes shape in free agency. Amico adds that Shumpert may have been discussed in talks with the Pacers.
  • The Cavaliers have discussed a possible three-way trade with the Knicks, but Carmelo Anthony‘s stand-off with Phil Jackson appears to be complicating New York’s chances of getting anything major done, says Amico.
  • In a piece for Basketball Insiders, James Blancarte wonders if Love is being undervalued by NBA fans and observers. If that’s the case, NBA execs may be guilty of it too — Amico writes that teams have thus far been unwilling to offer a ton for Love since it’s widely known the Cavs are looking to move him.
  • The Cavs still have no resolution on their front office situation. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported on Sunday evening (via Twitter) that talks between the team and Chauncey Billups were ongoing, with no immediate resolution anticipated. Nearly two full days later, there have been no real updates. Cleveland reportedly offered Billups a five-year deal to become the team’s new president of basketball operations.

Stein’s Latest: George, Rockets, Spurs, Nuggets

News broke Sunday that the Cavaliers, Nuggets and Pacers had discussed a three-way deal that would have sent Paul George to the Cavs and Kevin Love to Denver ahead of the draft. As we wrote about earlie, one variation of the potential deal would have sent Kenneth Faried to Cleveland as well.

In an article published at ESPN shortly thereafter, Marc Stein – who sent the initial tweet Sunday night – goes into more details, sharing information about the pre-draft conversations that took place surrounding the Pacers forward.

Here are some highlights from Stein’s latest piece, co-written with Haynes:

  • While the conversations between the Cavaliers, Nuggets and Pacers didn’t amount to anything before the draft, Cleveland haven’t abandoned its pursuit of the two-way All-Star. The Cavs legitimately believe that they could convince George to abandon his dreams of playing for his hometown Lakers, something he is expected to pursue when he hits free agency in 2018.
  • In addition to Cleveland’s ongoing pursuit and the Celtics discussions that came to light on draft day, Stein and Haynes note that the Rockets and Spurs both aggressively pursued George deals before the draft as well.
  • The Nuggets are looking to upgrade at power forward and it’s the reason why Love was included in the possible three-team deal. Denver similarly intends to make plays for pending free agents Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap.
  • All of Faried, Wilson Chandler and Emmanuel Mudiay are said to be available. Big man Nikola Jokic and second-year guard Jamal Murray are supposedly untouchable.
  • The pair also confirm what we wrote about on Friday following a Joe Vardon column at Cleveland.com; the Cavs are expected to pursue Carmelo Anthony should he be bought out by the Knicks.

Cavs, Pacers, Nuggets Discussed George, Love

7:32pm: Nothing appears imminent, as the aforementioned Vardon tweet implied, but Stein and Haynes have published an article with more information about what went down and some of the underlying motives. We’ve recapped it here.

7:12pm: An article published by Haynes and Stein over at ESPN specifies that the Cavs, Nuggets and Pacers discussed Love and George leading up to last Thursday’s draft. The Nuggets, the article states, were brought in to supply Indiana with young assets.

Stein and Haynes note that while this particular discussion didn’t end in a deal, the Cavs won’t abandon their pursuit of the Pacers All-Star.

6:48pm: The clubs are said to have had discussions involving Denver on draft night, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com tweets. Vardon also adds that his source said it was “nothing serious”.

6:31pm: The Cavaliers, Pacers and Nuggets are in the midst of trade discussions involving Paul George and Kevin Love, Marc Stein of ESPN tweets. The three clubs have discussed a deal that would land George in Cleveland and Love in Denver.

Per Stein and ESPN’s Chris Haynes, the Cavs have “continued to pursue” George, something they were initially reported to be doing prior to the draft.

In one version of the potential deal, the Cavaliers could land forward Kenneth Faried, Haynes tweets.

News of the ongoing discussion comes after a week of speculation following George’s declaration that he would not be returning to the Pacers when he hits free agency next summer. When he informed Indiana president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard of his intentions, he revealed that he’d like to sign with his hometown Lakers in 2018.

Unless the Lakers make a move for him before then,  however, a number of other clubs – including the Cavaliers – will eagerly look to acquire him as a one-year rental, the Celtics being a notable example that has already made an aggressive push to land him.

Northwest Notes: Plumlee, Turner, Donovan, Faried

Jusuf Nurkic has been on a tear since his trade to Portland, but Mason Plumlee‘s teammates are happy to have him in Denver. While Plumlee and the Nuggets are still in the “getting-to-know-you phase,” as Nick Kosmider of the Denver Post puts it, Mason has grown more comfortable with each passing game.

“I was telling Mike (Miller) on the bench that this is collectively the best passing team I’ve played on,” Plumlee said. “It’s exciting. There is energy in the ball. I feel like the way guys play on this team is contagious.”

The Nuggets maintain a 2.5 game lead on the eighth seed; between his stints with the Nets and Trail Blazers, Plumlee has a combined 27 games of playoff experience. Plumlee’s style of play has already earned the respect of standout center Nikola Jokic.

“He just wants to win,” Jokic said. “He wants to do the stuff that some other players don’t want to do.”

More from around the Northwest:

  • After missing five weeks with a fracture in his right hand, Evan Turner is expected to make his return to the lineup tomorrow against the Hawks. According to Joe Freeman of The Oregonian, Turner returned to practice Friday after hour-long workouts on Wednesday and Thursday. A seventh-year veteran, Turner’s “brand of playmaking and solid perimeter defense” should provide a boost to the Trail Blazers‘ postseason push. “I’m done talking about the injury and worrying about it, because it’s already over with,” Turner said. “Knock on wood.”
  • Now two years into his NBA coaching career, Billy Donovan‘s name still surfaces when a college coaching job opens up. According to Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman, the Indiana Hoosiers were speculated to have interest in hiring Donovan; a rumor the OKC coach shot down. “I am totally happy here,” Donovan said. “I love it here. I love the guys I work with every day. I love our staff, the organization. As far as I’m concerned, my commitment is totally here and doing the best job I can while I’m here.”
  • Kenneth Faried is eager to return to form after suffering a debilitating back injury, Nick Kosmider of the Denver Post writes. “The Manimal” missed 14 out of 17 games due to the injury, scoring 12 points over 18 minutes in his return to the court last night. “It was some of the worst pain I ever felt,” Faried said. “I’m just happy to be able to walk and jump and do the normal things like sit down normally. I’m glad to be able to do a light sprint or a jog and not have to worry about my back flaring up. I’m happy to be able to do those little things. You never know what can happen, and you take those for granted until something like that happens.”

Northwest Notes: Hill, Jazz, Faried, Turner

George Hill and the Jazz reportedly won’t reach an agreement on a contract extension on Tuesday, which is the last day this season that teams can renegotiate contracts. However, both sides remain interested in getting something done eventually, and agreed to resume discussions in the summer, per Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune.

According to Jones, the Jazz are “prepared to do whatever it takes” to retain Hill beyond this season. However, they’ll have plenty of competition for the veteran point guard in the offseason. Sources tell Jones that Hill is expected to have as many as 12 teams looking to sign him in free agency, and Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com tweets that Hill has been advised he can get a better deal this summer than what Utah can offer now. In the offseason, rival teams could offer a four-year contract, while the Jazz could make a five-year offer. Today, Utah only could have offered a three-year extension.

Here’s more from around the Northwest division:

  • As the Nuggets traveled to Chicago, power forward Kenneth Faried stayed behind in Denver to receive treatment on his back, tweets Nick Kosmider of The Denver Post. Head coach Mike Malone expects Faried to miss at least a week to 10 days.
  • Trail Blazers wing Evan Turner, who is trying to make his way back from a hand fracture, said today that he’s getting his cast removed on Friday and hopes to return to the court for Portland in a week or so, per Mike Richman of The Oregonian (Twitter link). The original recovery timetable for Turner, which was announced about three weeks ago, called for him to miss five or six weeks.
  • The Timberwolves passed on Buddy Hield to select Kris Dunn with the fifth overall pick last June, but Minnesota head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau says he’s a “big fan” of the new Kings sharpshooter, as Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune details. According to Thibodeau, he and the Wolves considered Hield and Jamal Murray before selecting Dunn —  Thibodeau believes “all three guys will have terrific careers.”

Northwest Notes: Mudiay, Thibodeau, Stephenson

The performance of Nuggets rookie guard Jamal Murray has made Emmanuel Mudiay expendable, writes Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post. Veteran Jameer Nelson has become the starting point guard as Denver pushes for a playoff spot, and Kiszla sees Murray as a better backup to both Nelson and Gary Harris than Mudiay is. That leaves little playing time for last year’s first-round pick, who may now be more valuable to the Nuggets as a trade chip. Kiszla would like to see the Nuggets pursue Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, but admits that Denver doesn’t have the pieces to make that happen. He also mentions Atlanta’s Thabo Sefolosha as a target, but not in a one-for-one deal for Mudiay.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Tom Thibodeau’s new dual role as Timberwolves coach and president of basketball operations leaves no time for a vacation during the All-Star break, writes Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune. Zgoda lists seven possible targets for Minnesota before Thursday’s trade deadline: Chicago’s Taj Gibson, Orlando’s Bismack Biyombo, Denver’s Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler, Cleveland’s Iman Shumpert, Phoenix’s P.J. Tucker and Philadelphia’s Nerlens Noel.
  • Lance Stephenson is looking at a two-week recovery from his Grade 2 ankle sprain, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News in Minneapolis. Stephenson’s 10-day contract expired this weekend, and it’s uncertain whether the Timberwolves will be interested in signing him again once he has recovered.
  • The Jazz may add short-term salary to help them get above the cap floor, but they will be reluctant to take on long-term salary in any deal, writes Ryan McDonald of The Deseret News. Utah’s top priority this summer will be to re-sign Gordon Hayward, who will want a max contract with an annual salary in the $25MM to $30MM range. The Jazz also want to keep free agent point guard George Hill, who will demand about $20MM per season, and Rudy Gobert‘s extension will kick in next season, starting at more than $21.2MM next year. That ties up three players making more than $70MM, which limits Utah’s roster flexibility.

Kenneth Faried, Danilo Gallinari May Sit Through All-Star Break

Kenneth Faried and Danilo Gallinari have been out with injuries recently, and according to a report from Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post, they may not return until after the All-Star break. The Nuggets have three games – against the Cavaliers, Warriors, and Timberwolves – until the break.

Gallinari has missed Denver’s last five games with a groin injury, while Faried has been sidelined for two Denver’s last three games with a sprained ankle. Gallinari and Faried, whose injuries were categorized as “severe” by Dempsey, didn’t suit up for the Nuggets’ game in New York on Friday.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone praised Gallinari’s efforts in his recovery from injury.

“I give him credit,” Malone said. “We had an optional shooting (practice on Friday) and he went to the gym and was able to do a little bit more than he probably anticipated. But as with Kenneth and his ankle, we’re not going to rush those guys back. We have four more games prior to the break. If we have to use that entire time to get Gallo back for after the break to make a push, then we’ll do that. Whatever is in the best interest of the players.”

Community Shootaround: Denver’s Trade Chips

Despite a 22-28 record, the Nuggets find themselves within striking distance of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Staked to a half-game lead in the eighth seed, Denver has outperformed expectations behind a breakout season from Nikola Jokic.

As Mark Kiszla pointed out in a Denver Post column, the Nuggets have a decision to make: pursue a No. 7 or 8 seed, or sell off their assets by the trade deadline? Wilson Chandler has been critical of his role (or occasional lack thereof) under coach Michael Malone, making him a logical trade candidate.

Malone firmly denied Emmanuel Mudiay‘s availability via trade, but several Nuggets remain viable trade chips; particularly Danilo Gallinari and Jusuf Nurkic. As of late January, Nurkic was rumored to be available in a package deal with veteran forward Kenneth Faried.

We know Nuggets GM Tim Connelly has a history of trade deadline activity; here’s what we want to know as February 23rd approaches…

Who would you like to see the Nuggets shop at the deadline? Would it be worthwhile for Connelly to keep his team intact while pursuing a playoff spot? Which team would be the most logical destination for Chandler?

Let us know in the comments section!

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