Denver Nuggets basketball season is almost here, but one massive question still remains: What is Kenneth Faried‘s roll?
Faried has been a staple of Denver Nuggets basketball for years now, but the team, and possibly the league, are quickly passing him by.
He’s a fan favorite and a guy who can provide a lot for the Nuggets, but as the team looks to turn a new page in the franchise’s history, it may be time for Faried to adjust or get out.
Right now, the Nuggets are stacked with talent at the forward position, with Nikola Jokic, Wilson Chandler, Darrell Arthur, Danilo Gallinari and Juancho Hernangomez all able to provide quality minutes at the four, Faired’s usual position, meaning a slash in playing time or even a reduced role could be imminent for The Manimal.
To what extent? Will find out shortly.
“I think we have a very deep and talented team overall,” head coach Michael Malone said after the team’s practice on Thursday. “Obviously, we have been starting the two Balkan Bigs (Jokic and Nurkic) together, and if that is something we continue to use, then we need Kenneth to come off the bench and provide energy, rebounding and running, which I think he’s the best at in the NBA. If we chose to start him, then obviously he needs to provide the same thing,”
As I wrote earlier in the week, reports have surfaced that if Faried were to be placed on the bench he could become disgruntled, which could prompt the Nuggets to ramp up trade efforts for Faried.
The last thing this extremely young Nuggets team needs is controversy or tension between a big-name player and managment. Although that certainly remains a possibility, Malone has reassured fans many times that Faried has been nothing short of spectacular, both on and off the court, this offseason.
“His attitude, his work ethic throughout training camp and the preseason has been stellar,” Malone said. “He has not gotten caught up in the who’s starting? Am I not starting? Why am I not starting? Let me go out there and do the best job I can do to help this team win. games. … That says a lot about him.”
At this point in time, Malone acknowledged the fact that both he and Faried have yet to sit down and talk about the possibility of a new role, which could include everything from starting to riding the bench, but did say a conversation would happen before the team’s season opener next week.
The two sides need to be on the same page ASAP, as it is in the best interest of Faried and the team to get a clear idea of what is to be expected.
Faried is a good NBA player whom the Nuggets enjoy having on their roster, but he may not fit in with what what the team is trying to accomplish at this time. We will find out early on in the season if Faried fits the scheme and culture the Nuggets have been trying to build over the past three seasons.
Following that revelation a decision, on Faried’s standing with the team should become much more clear.