Is Denver Nuggets PF Kenneth Faried Really Worth His Contract Extension?


Oct 8, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried (35) shoots the ball past Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) during the first half at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried was recently signed to a contract extension with his current team. The deal was worth 50 million-dollars over four years starting with the 2015-16 NBA season. It’s quite the step up from his rookie scale contract that gave him on average a little over $1.5 million. The 6”8 standout was drafted in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft and has played a huge role for Denver ever since. But is he really worth all that money?

The Morehead State alumni was ninth in the league in field goal percentage and plays down low for Denver. He’s a two year starter and has been a go to guy for the Nuggets. He can play small forward and center as well and can hold his own at 6”8, 228 pounds. He plays strong defense and is athletic for his position. He’s contributed greatly to Denver with a total of 18.9 win shares over the past three seasons. He was selected to the All-Rookie team in 2012 after scoring 10.2 ppg along with 7.7 rpg and 1.0 bpg. He’s been starting for the Nuggets ever since December of his rookie year.

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Faried has done fairly well with Denver over the past three seasons. He’s emerged as one of the better forwards in the league at just 24 years old. Faried averaged nearly 14 points per game last season and lead Denver to the playoffs in back to back seasons. They missed the postseason last year in a crowded Western Conference but will look to get back this year. The Nuggets playoff success will likely decide whether or not the extension was worth it. Then again, Faried’s best statistical year has been the lone year without a playoff appearance.

He played on Team USA this summer and averaged 13 ppg through seven games with them. Against Turkey, Faried recorded 22 points to go along with eight rebounds and three steals. Pretty impressive numbers for someone entering their fourth year playing professional basketball. Not only that game, but in every FIBA game it looked like he improved on his great season heading into the next one. If Faried continues to improve, then it’s pretty clear that the Nuggets are paying him accordingly.

The Nuggets might be in trouble in 2015-16 however. They’ll have the most expensive roster in the NBA at that point coming in at $81,953,480. That’s 953,480 thousand dollars over the luxury cap. The Nuggets can’t be throwing around 12 million-dollars. Luckily, Denver will have many free agents that summer so they can re-adjust or re-build through free agency while maintaining Faried.

While Faried doesn’t lead Denver in points, blocks, rebounds, or steals. He does however lead the team in PER, which might be the most important stat in basketball. His offense and defense helps make him versatile as a player. In fact, he was 31st in the NBA in PER which means he might not be too far off from a future All-Star appearance. If his numbers on offense start to get a little flashier, which means going 20-10 and not 14-9, then he could be playing in February during the All-Star break. When that happens, Faried’s extension may not seem too crazy after all.

So was Kenneth Faried‘s contract extension worth too much? If you go off his first three years, then the answer would be no. But Faried’s potential is yet to be untapped and if his summer with Team USA showed anything it’s that Faried is very close to taking his game to the next level offensively. When that happens, then the Nuggets front office will be smiling, knowing that they made the correct choice to keep Faried around for a few more years.