Kenneth Faried has been mentioned in trade rumors involving the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves for All-Star power forward Kevin Love, but according to Grantland’s Zach Lowe, the Nuggets will talk with Faried next week with the hope of signing him to an extension.
Faried, 24, has one year left on the deal he signed after Denver selected him with the No. 22 pick out of Moorehead State in the 2011 NBA Draft and will be a restricted free agent after the upcoming season.
He averaged a career-high 13.7 points per game and pulled down an average of 8.6 rebounds per game, his second-highest total in his three-year career, while averaging 54.5 percent shooting from the field.
The 6-8, 228-pound forward is clearly on the upswing and poised for a potential All-Star berth in the coming years, but the growing speculation linking him in talks with the Timberwolves in a potential blockbuster trade for Love made some question if his prime years would be in Denver or elsewhere.
With the trade talks with Love appeared to be dead, at least for the time being, the Nuggets are proceeding forward with locking up their budding star for the foreseeable future.
How long that future will be remains to be seen, however, as Faried does have limitations on offense and defense. He isn’t a spread-the-court type of player who will knock down the three, in fact, he has yet to attempt a shot from beyond the arc in his three NBA seasons.
Furthermore, he isn’t necessarily a true lockdown defender, but has averaged one block and nearly one steal for his NBA career suggesting there is something to work with on the defensive side.
Nevertheless, Faried is in line for a big payday and if it won’t come from the Nuggets this offseason they could face an ugly situation next offseason with teams bidding on the restricted free agent.