This has been such and up-and-down season and so many questions have been raised about who will stay and who may go in the off-season. In an article by Aaron Lopez, Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw had some interesting things to say:
Before practice earlier this week, Shaw and his coaching staff met with Lawson and Faried about finishing the season strong and embracing their role as leaders on the court and in the locker room.
"I just keep trying to encourage both of them to start thinking more in those terms," Shaw said. "They've come to the forefront as the cornerstones that this team is going to be built around."
Shaw recognizes Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried as "cornerstones that this team is going to be built around." Very interesting indeed. Shaw was quick to point out flaws in both Lawson and Faried's games early in the season. He actually questioned Lawson's ability to transform himself into a vocal leader before the season and harped on Faried's attention to detail throughout much of the regular season.
It appears that some tough love from the first year head coach has been helping to build a solid relationship with two key players on this 33-42 record team. That's good to hear.
Lawson is under contract until the 2016-17 season and will make $11.5 million next season, $12.4 million for the 2015-16 campaign, and $13.2 million in his final season. Faried is due $2.3 million next season and if the team doesn't work out an extension before the deadline, he has a $3.4 million qualifying offer that the team would more than likely extend.
Faried raised his level of play in March and averaged 19.2 points and 9.8 rebounds during the last month, over his season averages of 13.2 points and 8.1 rebounds. Lawson, for the second straight year, has led the team in points at 17.6 per game (career high) and is second in the NBA in assists with 8.9 per game (career high).
With Shaw saying the two are coming to the forefront and will be the guys the team builds around, are we finally seeing a blueprint for how the Nuggets will move forward? It surely opens up a few questions, but also starts to provide some answers.