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NBA AM: Nuggets Looking To Unload Faried?

Some members of the Denver Nuggets’ front office are reportedly not sold on forward Kenneth Faried.

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As we approach trade season keep an eye on Kenneth Faried’s situation in Denver

As the 2014-15 NBA season continues to gain momentum, one date to mark on the calendar is December 15, 2014. This is the day where free agent signees become eligible to be traded and perennially kicks off the NBA’s trading cycle. So in essence we’re just a month away from when things could get very interesting around the league.

While league executives aren’t restricted from making moves before December 15, most front office’s opt to be patient during the early going in order to allow their respective rosters to gain cohesion.

With an influx of players becoming eligible in the trade market, executives can put together more robust deals involving more impactful assets. This becomes helpful in pulling the trigger for bigger name players or guys on the rise at their respective positions.

One situation to watch unfold continues to be the Denver Nuggets who have started the campaign slowly despite having a payroll hovering over $73 million this season.

According to a recent report by Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN, the Nuggets organization may be open to entertaining offers for their most recognizable assets – power forward Kenneth Faried.

Faried, who signed a four-year $50 million early extension in late October, has reportedly fallen out of favor in some circles within the Nuggets’ organization.

“[Faried] is a helluva player and plays hard, but he isn’t well liked [in the organization],” a league source said according to the report. “That gets glossed over. He says crazy s—. He thinks he’s the guy, and other guys take exception to his contract.”

Judging a guy like Faried’s overall impact has long been a challenge. He’s the ultimate hustle and energy guy who plays the game at a frenetic pace – which makes him a fan favorite. Despite this, Faried is a guy who has also been known to get torched defensively and he has never averaged over 30 minutes per game in any season since entering the league (currently playing 26.5 minutes this season despite the lucrative new contract).

Denver’s general manager Tim Connelly has consistently maintained that there are no untouchable pieces on the Nuggets’ current roster and that he’d at the very least listen to offers for everyone.

“Every player on our roster is a movable asset,” Connelly said. “Certainly you don’t want to view players as assets, but there’s a part of you in the front office that has to be brutally honest with how these guys are viewed league wide. We don’t have a guy on the roster we’d have to heavily incentivize to move.”

The Nuggets are coming off a 36-46 campaign last season where they missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2002-03 campaign. To start this season, the club once again finds itself on the outside of the playoff picture with a 3-7 record – although it’s still early.

Faried is averaging 11.6 points, 7.2 rebounds on 52 percent shooting in 10 games this season. Because of his pending extension, he would count as $10 million incoming for whatever team acquired him, but the Nuggets could only take on $2.2 million.

Next Summer’s Value Free Agent? Could be Warriors forward Draymond Green

One of the most pleasing parts of each NBA season is watching once unheralded guys make the most of their opportunities as they fight for to secure their place in the league. Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green is the latest player whose value continues to rise throughout the league.

Green, the No. 35 overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, is off to a fast start this season averaging 14.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game through the club’s first 10 games. The forward is hitting on 48 percent of his attempts from the floor, with a 42 percent accuracy from beyond the three-point line. The forward has undoubtedly benefitted from the absence of injured former All-Star David Lee in the lineup.

Green will be able to rest the free agency waters next summer and while the Warriors will have the right to match any offer for his services the question is can they do it from a financial standpoint with five players already scheduled to make over $10 million next season and a 2015-16 payroll currently over $77 million in guaranteed deals.

“You could make the argument that his value is somewhat like Taj Gibson’s is to the Bulls right now,” a NBA talent scout told Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. “He is seen as a part of the Warriors’ main core. His value is very similar to that of Tayshaun Prince on Detroit’s championship team. He will end up getting approximately $8 million per year in free agency based on similar comparables.”

It is important to note Gibson received a four-year $38 million contract extension from Chicago in late 2012.

While there’s no denying Green is a valuable member of the Warriors’ current rotation, his longevity with Golden State could come down to how savvy their front office is in navigating the team’s payroll.

Lang Greene is a senior NBA writer for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last 10 seasons

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