Power forward Kenneth Faried recently signed a four-year, $50 million deal with the Denver Nuggets during the offseason. Now the Nuggets may have buyer's remorse over the deal and could consider trading him.
That's because the team is now considered one of the NBA's biggest disappointments. Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN mentioned that although the Nuggets once figured out how to extract maximum value from its superstars back in 2011, there have been grumblings within the Denver team that general manager Tim Connelly lacked both the experience and savvy to compete successfully in the league.
"I'm not sure Tim can do the job," a league power broker, who has known Connelly for years, said. "He's the nicest guy you'll meet, but he's out of his depths, and you saw it with the [Kenneth] Faried mess."
According to Arnovitz, the "mess" as described by the power broker is referring to Faried's contract. Apparently the deal made with Faried did not comply with the current collective bargaining agreement, which stated that a team's "designated player" must receive the maximum money for a five-year extension.
In his defense, Connelly thought it was an easy call to be the general manager of the Nuggets, given that he already had the confidence and endorsement of the man who previously held his post.
"I feel like my experiences at every level have prepared me for this job," Connelly said. "I don't think there have been any overwhelming moments. When an organization is in transition -- and we were when Brian and I jumped aboard -- there are going to be unexpected growing pains, especially taking over a team that's had so much success over the past decade. But I think our processes are sound."
Other sources insisted to Arnovitz that the Nuggets felt forced to keep him. The fans may have loved Faried on the basketball court thanks to his performance on Team USA last summer, but the team still did not like him, most notably coach Brian Shaw.
Paul John Rivera of Latin Post reported that the Nuggets signed J.J. Hickson to a three-year, $16 million contract in anticipation for Faried's possible departure after this season. In response, Faried, who has averaged 11.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game this season, acknowledged that his relationship with Shaw had been rocky at times.
"We'd butt heads because certain philosophies he was going with I didn't want to obey them or abide by them," Faried said. "I wanted to do my own thing and play more minutes. I was frustrated."
As the season progressed, however, Faried added that the Nuggets "had to come together and click in order for us to win."
Considering the heavy financial responsibility of compensating Faried and other high-profile Nuggets players, Denver might have to lighten its paycheck loads via trades. According to Arnovitz, the Nuggets have a committed payroll close to $70 million for the 2015-16 season, which is behind only the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors.
Connelly kept all options on the table as part of his goal to make the team relevant in the NBA.
"Every player on our roster is a movable asset," Connelly said. "Certainly you don't want to view players as assets, but there's a part of you in the front office that has to be brutally honest with how these guys are viewed leaguewide. We don't have a guy on the roster we'd have to heavily incentivize to move."