It sounds like the Denver Nuggets are continuing to explore potential trades ahead of the NBA season, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe. The ESPN basketball analyst and sometimes-news breaker said on his podcast Thursday that Denver is “the team I hear most about in terms of, like, they still might have moves up their sleeves” aside from the Boston Celtics.
“And not just Denver’s trying to get off (Kenneth) Faried, which I think they are,” Lowe said. “But if they have to move a decent wing to get off Faried and get something good in return, well, they’ve got a lot of wings now; young ones, mid-career ones, take your pick. They just have a lot of ideas in the fire.”
Faried, Denver’s 6-foot-8 starting power forward, has been the subject of trade rumors for months now. He signed a four-year, $50 million extension with the Nuggets in October 2014. But soon after, the paradigm of what makes a power forward successful in the NBA shifted.
The best power forwards in today’s game knock down outside shots, switch the pick-and-roll or preferably do both. Think Draymond Green with the Warriors. Neither of those skills are Faried’s forte; instead, the player nicknamed “Manimal” makes his bones grabbing rebounds and rolling hard to rim for dunks and layups.
According to Lowe’s intel, it sounds like the Nuggets would be willing to trade Faried and one of the wings on its roster if the right deal came along. The Nuggets have a glut of shooting guards and small forwards, especially after they took Jamal Murray and Malik Beasley in the NBA Draft. Those two will compete with Gary Harris, Will Barton, Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler for minutes at the two and three spots this year. What Denver could use is a power forward who can stretch the floor.
Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly is not afraid to make aggressive moves. We’ll see if any of those “ideas in the fire” turn into anything substantial.