Kenneth Faried is an energy source.

For the past seven seasons, Faried has served as an amplifier — both for his teammates and Nuggets fans. When the words “No. 35, Kenneth Faried” are pumped throughout the Pepsi Center, the atmosphere always becomes electric for a split-second.

Faried has been the Nuggets’ spark plug since joining the team in 2011. While that will still be the case this coming season, things will be a little different than they were before.

After years of rebuilding and retooling for the future, the Nuggets are finally on the cusp of becoming a playoff-caliber team. The signing of All-Star Paul Millsap helped legitimize Denver as a free-agent destination as the Nuggets continue to trudge forward along the path towards sustainable success in the NBA.

However, the singing of Millsap means that Faried will almost certainly be forced to relinquish his starting role — a notion that he most certainly does not like — and one that he seems willing to fight against in any way possible.

“Back to square one, I guess,” Faried said at the Nuggets’ annual media day. “No disrespect. I understand how the league goes. You brought Paul Millsap in because he’s a great acquisition to this team. Like, of course, he’s an All-Star and he deserves that, and he deserves the minutes he’s probably going to get, but I’m going to still fight to be on the court.”

Faried has been firm in the belief that he envisions himself as a starter, not a bench player. That said, he has become one of the more interesting Nuggets trade chips over the course of the past few seasons. Faried’s name has been thrown around in trade rumors more than once. With that being said, Faried refuses to commit to coming off the bench.

“I’m not a bench player. I’ve been saying that for the longest [time]. I’m a starter,” Faried said. “I love to hear the crowd hear ‘starting at power forward, number 35, Kenneth Faried’. Yes, that’s me; 100 percent. That’s been my whole life, and I’m going to fight for my starting position. I’m not just going to lay down and let somebody take it. If they give it to him, I can’t control that.”

Any stubbornness on Faried’s part could cause problems down the line this season for the Nuggets. Nothing is set in stone this season for Denver or Faried, as has been the case for several years. Only time will tell just how things will shake out.

“I’m ready for whatever the team needs me to be ready for,” Faried said. “To me, it’s not ‘are you going to be the leader?’ Are you the leader of this team? Everybody keeps asking me that. No! I don’t know who the hell the leader of this team is, to just be honest. [We are] just going to see what happens. See how it plays out.”

The 2017-18 campaign looms as a critical junction point for the Nuggets as a franchise. The Nuggets are expected to be a playoff team this year; however, there will be adjustments from years past, and with that comes the potential for changing roles and minutes on the court for some players.

“I’ve seen so much stuff happen in this league. There are 29 other teams. If this team doesn’t want or respect me enough to play me the minutes or whatever that I’m going to play or that I deserve to play, then I understand that,” Faried said. “Hey, there’s 29 others. Maybe I go somewhere else — and do what I need to do there. At the same time, I’m here in Denver, and I’m going to play ‘Manimal’ basketball no matter what, every time I step on the court.”

The gulf between Faried and the organization has been widening for some time. Faried’s unique fit in the Nuggets’ rotation and his fluctuating role on the team since George Karl was fired in 2013 has clearly frustrated him.

Faried wears his heart on his sleeve and exerts maximum effort every time he steps on the hardwood, and that won’t change this season, he says.

While Faried’s apparent displeasure hasn’t yet manifested itself in significantly negative ways, turmoil could potentially begin to brew within the organization… and that can add a bit of unwanted intrigue to the upcoming season.

Faried has averaged 11.9 and 8.5 rebounds per contest in his six seasons as a Denver Nugget.