The Denver Nuggets could be making a big move this offseason according to Zach Lowe of Grantland.com. Reports are saying that the Nuggets are looking to acquire a first-round pick in the talented and deep 2014 NBA Draft in exchange for Kenneth Faried. You may be just as surprised as I am when hearing this but hear it out. With the improved play from Faried of late, Denver is unsure they will be able to retain him after the 2015 season where he becomes an unrestricted free-agent. They believe the Manimal could be seeking something in the eight-figure range, which as a small-market team is hard to invest in something like that and compete.
Faried has been putting up some gaudy numbers of late and has Nuggets fans turning their heads. Once viewed as a product of George Karl‘s run-and-gun system, Faried has polished himself under the development of rookie head coach Brian Shaw. So far in April, Faried is averaging 22.3 points, 12.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.7 blocks while shooting 57.1% percent from the field. He started turning his play around in the month of March where he averaged 19.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.4 steals while shooting 55.2% percent from the field.
Here is more on the situation via Zach Lowe:
“The results have been, frankly, kind of stunning, and present the Nuggets with a dilemma they likely didn’t expect six months ago, when they asked a targeted handful of teams whether they might be interested in acquiring Faried in exchange for a 2014 first-round pick or quality wing player on a rookie deal, per sources around the league,”
So if Denver did in fact trade Kenneth Faried for a 1st-round draft pick and let’s say they have a pick somewhere in the top-6, who would they target? A no-brainer for them would be to go after Julius Randle out of the University of Kentucky (If he declares). Randle was a key part the Wildcats appearance in the National Championship, averaging 15.0 points and 10.4 rebounds while shooting 50.1% percent from the field. He fits Brian Shaw’s mold of an all-around power forward.