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Kenneth Faried: Should the Denver Nuggets Extend, Max or Trade Him?

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As the deadline to extend Kenneth Faried approaches, how should the Nuggets actually proceed?

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

The Denver Nuggets and Kenneth Faried have been embroiled in contract talks through most of the summer.  In actuality it has been Thad Foucher (Faried's agent) that has been doing most of the talking with the Nuggets.

Faried has been improving his game with Team USA, winning the FIBA World Cup tournament as their starting power forward and then capped off an amazing tournament by being named to its All-Star Five.

While in Spain, Faried averaged 12.2 points and 7.7 boards, pretty close to his regular season numbers from a season ago at 13.7 and 8.6, respectively.

The one thing that makes me nervous about the contract is how high it could potentially climb.  Which leaves the question, at what point do the Nuggets stand up and walk away from the table?

I started comparing Faried's numbers to that of, probably, the best power forward in the league in LaMarcus Aldridge.  Aldridge is in line for a max extension and deservedly so.

Player

Season

Age

MP

FG

FGA

FG%

FT

FTA

FT%

ORB

DRB

TRB

AST

STL

BLK

TOV

PF

PTS

LaMarcus Aldridge

2013-14

28

36.2

9.4

20.6

0.458

4.3

5.2

0.822

2.4

8.7

11.1

2.6

0.9

1

1.8

2.1

23.2

Kenneth Faried

2013-14

24

27.2

5.6

10.3

0.545

2.5

3.9

0.65

3

5.6

8.6

1.2

0.9

0.9

1.7

2.4

13.7


At least Faried had a better field goal percentage, right?  Outside of the stat FG% and offensive rebounding, Aldridge has Faried beaten across the board.  So, we shouldn't worry about Faried asking for a max contract, right?

I then started to compare Faried's numbers to another power forward who just signed a qualifying offer because he thought he was worth the max, yet could not get the max from his current team.

Player

Season

Age

MP

FG

FGA

FG%

FT

FTA

FT%

ORB

DRB

TRB

AST

STL

BLK

TOV

PF

PTS

Kenneth Faried

2013-14

24

27.2

5.6

10.3

0.545

2.5

3.9

0.65

3

5.6

8.6

1.2

0.9

0.9

1.7

2.4

13.7

Greg Monroe

2013-14

23

32.8

6.1

12.4

0.497

2.9

4.5

0.657

3.1

6.1

9.3

2.1

1.1

0.6

2

2.5

15.2


Well, on first glance it seems that Greg Monroe has Faried beat pretty handily across the board and there is nothing to fret.  Except when you consider that Faried should have a bit larger role on the Nuggets this season and should see his minutes increase.

Now you take a look at their Per 36 stats.

Player

Season

Age

MP

FG

FGA

FG%

FT

FTA

FT%

ORB

DRB

TRB

AST

STL

BLK

TOV

PF

PTS

Kenneth Faried

2013-14

24

2178

7.4

13.6

0.545

3.3

5.1

0.65

3.9

7.4

11.3

1.6

1.2

1.1

2.2

3.2

18.1

Greg Monroe

2013-14

23

2690

6.7

13.6

0.497

3.2

4.9

0.657

3.4

6.7

10.2

2.3

1.2

0.6

2.2

2.7

16.7


We see that with about nine more minutes per game that Faried definitely projects himself as a better power forward in nearly every statistical category.  Per 100 possessions last season statistics also solidify this.

Player

Season

Age

FG

FGA

FG%

FT

FTA

FT%

ORB

DRB

TRB

AST

STL

BLK

TOV

PF

PTS

Kenneth Faried

2013-14

24

10

18.4

0.545

4.5

7

0.65

5.3

10

15.4

2.2

1.6

1.6

3

4.3

24.6

Greg Monroe

2013-14

23

9.5

19.1

0.497

4.5

6.9

0.657

4.8

9.5

14.3

3.2

1.7

0.9

3.1

3.9

23.5


Then to just solidify the point, the Nuggets are +7 when Faried is on the court compared to a +1 for Monroe and the Pistons, per 48 minutes on the court.  Monroe is going to ask for a max contract once again next season and there will be one GM out there dumb enough to give it to him.

Why shouldn't Faried be awarded a max contract by this scale?  The owners are about to strike the richest television contract in the NBA's history and we know that when owners have money in their pocket they love to lavishly spend it.

Again, if the Nuggets don't think he's worth it, there certainly is another team out there who thinks he is.   Rumor had it that the Toronto Raptors were interested in trading for Faried before the trade deadline last season.  Masai Ujiri is the man who scouted him out of Morehead State and ultimately drafted him.  It makes plenty of sense for Ujiri to make a call to shore up the Raptors front line as they were making a playoff run and the Nuggets were suffering from a lack of healthy ACLs.

So what say you, extend him reasonably, max him out or trade him?