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Nuggets plan on opening contract extension talks with Kenneth Faried this summer

May 7, 2014, 10:01 PM EDT

Kenneth Faried Kenneth Faried

It wasn’t long ago that Kenneth Faried was considered untouchable by the Nuggets front office, due to the rare combination of athletic skill set and the high-energy style he consistently plays.

But a new GM took control prior to the start of last season, and Faried was off to a bit of a slow start. That caused his name to pop up in trade talks as the deadline approached, but wisely, Denver held onto what’s likely to be a critical piece of the team’s future.

Faried is under contract for next season, and the Nuggets can retain his rights as a restricted free agent by tendering a small qualifying offer the year after that. There’s not necessarily any hurry to lock him up with a long-term deal, but it appears as though the team will try to do so this summer.

From Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post:

The Nuggets plan to make Kenneth Faried a long-term fixture of their future by opening contract extension talks with the power forward and his agent, Thad Foucher, this summer.

“We’ll talk to his representation,” Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly told the Post. ” I think Kenneth is happy here. I think he’s really embraced what (Coach) Brian (Shaw) is trying to instill. Those are the type of guys that deserve to get paid.” …

Faried should be in line for a huge contract, probably under the $14-22 million a year the game’s top power forwards make, but more than say, the $9.5 million of a player such as Atlanta’s Paul Millsap.

The advantage the Nuggets have here is that players are often eager to sign this first extension after their rookie deal, in order to get that huge sum of guaranteed dollars in place as quickly as possible.

But Faried is not yet a max player, or even one that the team can justify paying as much as its star point guard Ty Lawson, whose deal averages $12 million per season. Faried is likely to be offered Larry Sanders-type money, somewhere in the four-year, $44 million range.

If Faried negotiates an opt-out after three years, and the Nuggets step up with an offer of $11 million per year, it’s tough to imagine a scenario where something doesn’t get done this offseason between the two parties.

  1. therealhtj - May 7, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    I love this kid, and his approach to the game. That said, 11mil/yr sounds awfully rich for a 4th option/hustle guy whose style of play can lead to extended time on the injured list. I couldn’t see paying him more than 8-9mil/yr for what he offers.

    • savvybynature - May 7, 2014 at 11:54 PM

      I agree, and locking a player up long term because the coach likes him seems like a bad idea, unless you are really sold on your coach. I’m not that sold on Shaw at this point.

    • casualcommenter - May 8, 2014 at 12:24 AM

      Completely agreed. 4 years, $36 million, giving him an opt out after a couple of years so he can cash in if his game reaches a new level, seems more fair than the $11 million per year being floated in the article.

      He’s developed a crafty post game, but he’s still only averaging 13 pts, 9 rbs per game, and he’s unable to regularly get more than 27 minutes per game due to his issues on the defensive end. I really like that he’s improving his skillset, but he’s still nowhere near elite on either end of the floor.
      At this point, Faried is an elite rebounder, okay scorer, okay defender. Definitely a good player to have, but not an $11+ million per year player yet.

    • duhwighthoward - May 8, 2014 at 9:38 AM

      Exactly. I love watching him play too. I’m a huge fan. That said, I’d rather have Paul Milsap. Faried is undersized (vertically) at his position. I sat courtside and can tell you he’s only about 6’6″, maybe 6’7″. I hope he gets his money!

      It would be amazing if he came to the Lakers. He’d be the first person to hustle since MWP.

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