Kenneth Faried

Dinwiddie Extension Good News For Rozier, Russell?

League executives at last week’s G League Showcase in Las Vegas were “raving” about the Nets‘ deal to lock up Spencer Dinwiddie to a three-year, $34.3MM extension, comparing it to the Clippers‘ three-year, $24MM agreement with Lou Williams, writes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider-only link).

According to Marks, two teams he spoke to in Vegas had Dinwiddie ranked as the third-best point guard in the 2019 free agent class before he signed his extension, placing him behind only Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker. That would have put Dinwiddie ahead of younger players like Terry Rozier (Celtics) and D’Angelo Russell (Nets), both of whom are on track for restricted free agency.

Rozier and Russell should benefit from Dinwiddie’s deal, since it takes one of 2019’s top FA point guards off the board and could create additional competition for their services. According to Marks, league execs in Vegas last week identified the Magic and Suns as probable suitors for Rozier and Russell, though the Celtics and Nets will have the upper hand until an offer sheet is on the table.

Here’s more from Marks:

  • Teams are monitoring Markelle Fultz, not just to keep an eye on his health and future, but also to see how Fultz’s status will impact Sixers teammate T.J. McConnell, according to Marks. McConnell is headed for unrestricted free agency and is unlikely to get an in-season extension if Philadelphia intends to maximize its 2019 cap room. McConnell could command a salary in the $5-7MM range, Marks notes.
  • Teams around the NBA believe there could be a strong group of buyout candidates available later this season. According to Marks, the veteran players that clubs are keeping an eye on include Carmelo Anthony, Robin Lopez, Zach Randolph, Anthony Tolliver, Enes Kanter, Kenneth Faried, Jerryd Bayless, Iman Shumpert, Kosta Koufos, Alec Burks, J.R. Smith, and Jabari Parker. Some of those vets may be traded and some figure to remain with their current teams, but I could definitely see several of them ending up on the buyout market.

Atkinson: Faried Hasn’t Asked For Buyout

After having his minutes cut back during his final season in Denver in 2017/18, Kenneth Faried has seen his playing time reduced even further this year in Brooklyn. With his contract set to expire at season’s end, Faried appears to be a buyout candidate, but Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said on Thursday that the big man and his camp haven’t broached the topic of a buyout, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

“No [he hasn’t asked],” Atkinson told Lewis. “I just like him on this team. He’s been really good. I just hope we can get him an opportunity. He’s been fantastic. I don’t feel great about it, because he’s been fantastic. It’s weird, some guys, they check out. He hasn’t.”

Faried, who was acquired by the Nets in a salary-dump deal with the Nuggets in July, has appeared in just nine games so far in Brooklyn, averaging a career-low 5.6 MPG. The 29-year-old has been effective in his limited minutes, making 11-of-14 shots from the field, but there hasn’t been room for him in a frontcourt rotation that features Jarrett Allen and Ed Davis. Faried likely wouldn’t be a great fit alongside either of those bigs, since the Nets typically use a smaller, more versatile power forward like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Jared Dudley, or DeMarre Carroll.

“That four position has become a little bit of a guard when you go small, so that hurts [Faried] a little,” Atkinson said. “I do think his ideal position is a rolling five in this league, and I think he could be really good at it. It’s just with Ed playing fantastic ball, it’s more about the other guys – and being satisfied with our bigs – than him.”

Atkinson added that he wants to do a “better job” finding minutes for Faried, but as long as Allen and Davis remain healthy and productive, the former Nugget could end up on the trade block instead. There’s a belief that Brooklyn might end up being a buyer at the trade deadline, and Faried’s $13.76MM expiring contract would be a useful salary-matching piece in certain deals.

If the Nets do try to upgrade their roster, they’ll likely consider trade scenarios in which they attach an asset to Faried to acquire a contributor. If nothing materializes on that front, a buyout would presumably become a more viable possibility for the big man after the February 7 deadline.

Nets Notes: Free Agency, Russell, Faried, LeVert

The Nets were one of the NBA’s most aggressive teams in free agency in 2016 and 2017, handing out a total of four offer sheets to Allen Crabbe, Tyler Johnson, Donatas Motiejunas, and Otto Porter during that time. All four of those offers were matched, which probably ended up being a good thing in retrospect for Brooklyn, writes ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

While Crabbe ended up on the Nets eventually as a result of a trade, he has struggled with his consistency, as has Johnson. Meanwhile, Motiejunas is no longer in the NBA and Porter is off to a bad start for the 2-8 Wizards this season.

If most or all of those players had landed in Brooklyn as a result of those offer sheets, the Nets almost certainly wouldn’t be in position to make a splash in the 2019 free agent period — instead, their cap would be weighed down with lucrative multiyear deals for players who haven’t necessarily emerged as impact players. So while GM Sean Marks deserves some credit for making the most of a bad situation during the first few years of his tenure, he has also benefited from some good luck in restricted free agency.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Before the Nets defeated the Suns on Tuesday, Devin Booker told Greg Logan of Newsday that he’d “love to play” with Brooklyn guard D’Angelo Russell someday, adding that Russell “makes people around him better.” A union between the two players is unlikely to happen in Brooklyn anytime in the next few years, since Booker’s five-year extension with the Suns begins next season. But perhaps Russell, who will be a restricted free agent in 2019, will draw interest from Phoenix.
  • After being buried in Denver’s rotation last season, Kenneth Faried finds himself in a similar situation in a contract year with the Nets. As Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes, head coach Kenny Atkinson praised Faried’s play in practice, but said there’s simply “no room” in the lineup for him at this point. “I can’t say, ‘Oh, he’s played bad,’ or ‘Oh, he’s not playing well.’ I can’t say that. Some guys, I can,” Atkinson said. “I’m telling you the honest truth, it’s a situational thing. And the other guys have got to start playing badly for him to get a chance.”
  • In another article for The New York Post, Lewis explores how Caris LeVert has evolved from a risky, injured draft pick to a crucial long-term piece for the Nets.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Nets, Saric

It’s hard to be patient when building a team under the spotlight of New York City, Knicks president Steve Mills is acutely aware of just that. Still, after 45 years without a title and two particularly disappointing decades, the club is going to try it out.

I believe [Knicks] fans will accept a team that has a plan and you stick with it and if you deliver players, you do have some hope,” Mills told Steve Popper of Newsday. “[…] We think we have something we can see is different as long as we have the patience to stick to it.

Among other things, the Knicks will need to wait for Kristaps Porzingis to return from a knee injury months into the 2018/19 season and hope for progress out of raw 2017 lottery pick Frank Ntilikina.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets have addressed their rebounding shortage with vigor. Chris Milholen of Nets Daily writes that the club’s acquisitions of Ed Davis, Kenneth Faried and now Alan Williams prove that they’re committed to improving that particular shortcoming.
  • It’s reasonable to assume that the Sixers envisioned Markelle Fultz as a starter when they drafted him. Derek Bodner of The Athletic writes that much-improved sophomore Dario Saric may need to return to the bench if that’s the case.
  • There are less than 10 days until training camp begins. Currently, two Atlantic Division teams have maxed out their rosters at 20. The Knicks, Raptors and 76ers all have one more space to fill. Check out our list of NBA roster counts for the rest of the league, broken down by team.

Nets Notes: Napier, Dinwiddie, Faried, Russell

The opportunity to frequently play off the ball was the selling point that convinced Shabazz Napier to sign with the Nets, according to Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily.com. Napier would seemingly have a limited role on a team that already has D’Angelo Russell at Spencer Dinwiddie to run the offense but coach Kenny Atkinson plans to give Napier the chance to play both guard spots. Napier was the primary backup guard with the Trail Blazers last season and shot 45% on catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts and 37.7% overall from long range, Puccio notes. “I don’t need to be on the ball,” Napier said. “I proved that when I was in Portland.”

In other news concerning the Nets:

  • Speculation that Dinwiddie could be dealt is reasonable, given his modest contract, but the Nets like him a lot and may re-sign him, according to a Net Income post. The Suns are searching for a starting point guard and the chance to acquire Dinwiddie, who will make $1.65MM during the upcoming season, on an expiring contract would be attractive. However, the Nets could also offer Dinwiddie a four-year extension in December or try to re-sign him next summer at a bigger number than others can offer due to owning his Bird rights.
  • Forward Kenneth Faried pled not guilty on Wednesday after being charged with unlawful possession of marijuana in the fourth degree last month, Michael Scotto of The Athletic tweets. Faried was arrested in Bridgehampton on the misdemeanor for allegedly possessing more than two ounces of the drug. The Nuggets traded Faried and his expiring $13,76MM contract to Brooklyn in mid-July.
  • Should the Nets give Russell an extension? We examined the pros and cons in our Extension Candidate series. Check it out here.

Atlantic Notes: Faried, L. Brown, Raptors, Celtics

As first reported by Valerie Gordon of 27East.com, new Nets power forward Kenneth Faried was arrested in Bridgehampton on Sunday morning and was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor for those allegedly possessing more than two ounces of marijuana. The Nets know about the situation, according to Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily, who confirmed the initial report.

“We are aware of the situation involving Kenneth Faried and are in the process of gathering more information at this time,” the Nets said in a statement.

While it’s possible the arrest could eventually lead to a modest fine or suspension for Faried, it’s fairly minor as far as criminal incidents go. It’s unlikely to have a major impact on the veteran’s on-court availability during his first season with the Nets.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Although Lorenzo Brown‘s one-year contract isn’t fully guaranteed, the Raptors view the veteran guard as a roster player, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca. According to Lewenberg, Brown is a good bet to be Toronto’s 14th man and the club probably won’t start the year with 15, meaning camp invitees like Chris Boucher and Kay Felder are long shots to make the regular season squad.
  • The Raptors‘ acquisition of Kawhi Leonard is a roll of the dice that could represent either a new beginning for the franchise or the beginning of the end of the club’s recent run of success, writes Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.
  • The Celtics will enter the 2018/19 season as the favorites to win the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference, but the Raptors and Sixers won’t make things easy. A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston identifies five keys that could help Toronto or Philadelphia knock off the C’s next season.

Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Faried, Crabbe, Nurse

Sixers center Joel Embiid isn’t concerned that the team missed out on signing LeBron James and trading for Kawhi Leonard, according to Ian Begley of ESPN. Even though Philadelphia didn’t add much star power this summer, Embiid believes a deal that brought in Wilson Chandler and the expected improvement of Markelle Fultz will be enough.

“I don’t think it matters, big free agent or not. My goal going into the offseason was to get better,” Embiid said. “I want to win the MVP. I feel like at the end of the day it might be an individual award, but when I play better, the team also does. I feel like if I’m an MVP candidate or if I win the MVP, that means we are on another level.”

The Sixers were able to re-sign starting guard J.J. Redick and will bring back most of the team that won 52 games last year.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Kenneth Faried doesn’t think of himself as a salary dump after being traded from the Nuggets to the Nets, relays Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Faried played just 32 games in Denver last season, and his $13.7MM salary for 2018/19 was pushing the team well into luxury tax territory. “The Nuggets wanted to go in a different direction,” Faried said Wednesday at an introductory press conference. “Brooklyn decided, ‘Hey, let’s pick up a still-able, still-capable player who can go out and produce and lead a team and do the things he’s done before.’ … They believed in me, took this chance to trade for me, and I’m excited to be here and produce.”
  • Sean Marks has made several shrewd moves since taking over as Nets GM, but the Allen Crabbe trade may have been a mistake, according to a story on NetsDaily. The Trail Blazers matched Brooklyn’s four-year, $75MM offer sheet for Crabbe in 2016, then dealt him to the Nets a year later because of luxury tax concerns. Marks traded Andrew Nicholson to Portland in exchange for Crabbe, but he may have been able to extract more from the Blazers considering their financial position.
  • The Raptors are adjusting their roster to fit new coach Nick Nurse’s preference for the modern style of the NBA, notes Dave Zarum of SportsNet. Nurse places more emphasis on 3-point shooting, with Leonard and Danny Green adding to a dangerous group of long-distance shooters.

Nets Notes: Russell, Napier, Faried, Whitehead

Nets GM Sean Marks won’t rule out the possibility of giving guard D’Angelo Russell an extension but it seems unlikely, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post (Twitter links). “For now, we’re going to see how this group plays together, how it all unfolds…I’m not going to rule out anything,” Marks said in a news conference, adding, “As we stand now, this is the group and we have no plans to make any crazy changes, whether that’s an extension or signing or trade anyone else. But things happen quickly.” Russell will make a little over $7MM this season and the team would have to decide whether to extend a qualifying offer of $9.16MM next summer if they don’t sign him to an extension.

In other news regarding the Brooklyn franchise:

  • The Nets will have to figure out how Shabazz Napier will fit into their backcourt but he’s not worried about it, Tom Dowd of the team’s website reports. The team already has Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie to play the point and Caris LeVert can also fill in at that spot. Napier was Damian Lillard‘s primary backup with the Trail Blazers last season. Napier signed a two-year contract on Tuesday. “That’s something I’m going to figure out when training camp starts,” Napier told Dowd about his role. “Right now, I’ll just continue to be who I am and come into training camp with an attitude of competing at the end of the day.”
  • Brooklyn took on Kenneth Faried‘s contract in a Nuggets salary dump but Marks feels Faried can be a major contributor next season, Dowd relays in a separate story. Faried has an expiring $13.76MM contract. “I think he fits with that Brooklyn grit that we talk about in terms of how he plays; he plays with high intensity, obviously at a fast pace,” Marks said. “His game will transition well to Brooklyn and what [coach] Kenny’s [Atkinson] wanting to do here.”
  • No one was more disappointed about the trade with the Nuggets than guard Isaiah Whitehead, the player shipped to Denver in the deal, as Bryan Fonseca of Nets Daily relays. Whitehead appeared in 89 games for his hometown team over the past two seasons. A source close to Whitehead sent a text to Fonseca after the trade that stated, “Being in Brooklyn meant everything to him.”

Nets Notes: Lin, Faried, Napier, Vezenkov

The Nets weren’t convinced that point guard Jeremy Lin will be physically ready for training camp, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Lin, who was traded to the Hawks on Thursday, is coming off a ruptured patellar tendon that he suffered in last season’s opener.

The 29-year-old point guard hasn’t been medically cleared for three-on-three contact games and may take a while to get ready for five-on-five. He played just 37 games over two years after signing with Brooklyn in 2016 and carried a $12.5MM salary that the team needed to unload before completing a deal with Denver.

“I love Jeremy Lin because he represents the underdog in all of us — truly first class on and off the court,” tweeted co-owner Joe Tsai after the deal was completed. “Jeremy is not only exciting to watch, he sets an example for perseverance and leadership. We are great friends, and I will follow his progress no matter where he is.”

There’s more today out of Brooklyn:

  • The Nets had been trying for months to acquire Kenneth Faried from the Nuggets, Lewis adds in the same story. Brooklyn officials hoped to make a deal before last month’s draft, but Denver was unwilling to give up this year’s first-rounder, which it used to get Michael Porter Jr. Nets GM Sean Marks improved his bargaining position by unloading Timofey Mozgov to the Hornets and Lin to the Hawks, giving him enough cap room to take on Faried and Darrell Arthur while getting a future first-rounder and second-rounder.
  • Today’s agreement with Shabazz Napier will use up the last of the Nets’ remaining cap room, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Brooklyn has 14 players under contract, 13 with guaranteed money, and can now exceed the cap by finalizing deals with Joe Harris under the Early Bird exception and Ed Davis under the room mid-level exception.
  • Aleksandar Vezenkov, a second-round pick from 2016, will get a better chance to develop his skills after signing with Olympiacos in Greece this week, according to NetsDaily.com. A stretch four, Vezenkov spent last season with F.C. Barcelona, which allotted more minutes to players who weren’t likely to eventually leave for the NBA. That shouldn’t be a concern with Olympiacos, where Vezenkov will play for former Cavaliers coach David Blatt.

Nuggets Trade Faried, Arthur, Picks To Nets

JULY 13, 8:42pm: The trade is official, according to a Nets press release.

JULY 12, 5:18pm: The Nuggets have found a team willing to take on their unwanted contracts, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports that Denver is sending Kenneth Faried, Darrell Arthur, a protected 2019 first-round pick, and a 2020 second-round pick to the Nets in exchange for Isaiah Whitehead.

It’s a salary-dump deal for the Nuggets, who intend to waive Whitehead after acquiring him, Wojnarowski adds. Whitehead’s salary guarantee deadline was recently pushed back, so his $1.54MM salary for 2018/19 remains non-guaranteed — Denver won’t be on the hook for it.

Having reached a deal with Isaiah Thomas earlier in the night, the Nuggets were poised to have 16 players on guaranteed NBA contracts and were well into luxury-tax territory. Their deal with the Nets will solve both issues, reducing their roster count to 14 players after Whitehead’s release and getting their total team salary below the tax threshold.

Bobby Marks of ESPN.com has the full details, noting that the Nuggets should be about $8.7MM below the tax line after the trade, giving the team room to use the rest of its mid-level exception to fill the last spot on its roster, if it so chooses. So far, Denver has committed $2MM of its MLE to Torrey Craig and is believed to have used about another $1MM on Jarred Vanderbilt.

As Marks observes, trading Faried, Darrell Arthur, and Wilson Chandler (to Philadelphia) projects to save the Nuggets approximately $90MM in salary and tax payments. The team gave up a first-round pick and two second-rounders in those two deals.

The Nuggets have also created three sizable traded player exceptions to work with — those TPEs are equivalent to the salaries for Faried ($13.76MM), Chandler ($12.8MM), and Arthur minus Whitehead ($5.92MM)

Meanwhile, from the Nets’ perspective, they’ll rent their cap room in order to add a pair of draft assets. The big prize is the 2019 first-rounder, which is top-12 protected, according to Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Coming into the day, Brooklyn didn’t have the cap room necessary to absorb both Faried and Arthur, but the club created that space by trading Jeremy Lin to the Hawks in another deal. It’s not clear whether Faried and/or Arthur are in the Nets’ plans for 2018/19 or if they’ll become buyout candidates.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.