According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Nuggets are exploring trading Kenneth Faried and the No. 14 pick to get salary cap relief. While the Nuggets front office might be hesitant to trade back after getting burned last year, they should look back in history to the year they traded Doug McDermott for Gary Harris and Jusuf Nurkic, while grabbing Nikola Jokic in the second round. Trading back can work — as long as you don’t outsmart yourself and take players that will never see meaningful playing time due to a positional logjam.
The Nuggets could send Faried to a team like the Mavericks with the No. 14 pick in exchange for the No. 33 pick — that gives them a roll of the dice on an athletic wing to play small forward for them. They could also use explore trading the pick in combination with a more burdensome salary like Mason Plumlee to a team like the Chicago Bulls, who are years away from worrying about salary cap space and contending, and getting the No. 22 pick in return.
The Nuggets final option would be to use Faried and 14 to try to acquire a veteran point guard. A trade for someone like Cory Joseph would give the Pacers two shots to add young rotation players while burning a small chunk of their cap space to make a strong play in the 2019 offseason for a star player to give them the talent to make the Conference Finals. Or it could give them another draft asset to make a play for a point guard like Mike Conley Jr.
No matter what path they explore, the Nuggets should be looking to make a trade or two during the offeason. No better time to get started on reshuffling the chairs on the ship that will deliver a 9-seed than during the draft.