Don’t Do It, Devner!

2013 Sprite Slam Dunk ContestThere are rumours that Denver’s coaching staff is unhappy with Kenneth Faried.  Some are suggesting that Faried defense is not at the same level it was in his first two season.  Ownership is rumoured to be worried that Faried’s pending restricted-free agency could lead to a contract that is too rich for their blood.  Now, there are rumours that Faried is on the trading block and may be headed to New York.  The problem?  All Denver is rumoured to be getting back is Iman Shumpert.  The deal has not gone through as of yet, as Denver wisely is looking for more than just Shumpert in return, but the trade deadline, though three months away, may come up faster than Denver expects.

The Nuggets have let big guys go in the past:  they trade Nene; let Kenyon Martin walk; and watched Chris Andersen, who they bench, play an key role in helping the Miami Heat earn their third banner.  Whatever happens, though, the Nuggets should not let Faried go.  He can defend well.  There are few rebounders better than Faried in the league, and unlike some defensive specialists who can rebound, Faried doesn’t demand more touches on offense than he ought to be getting.  There may be issues with the coaching staff, but these things can be worked out.  Such problems arise whenever there is a change in the coaching staff.  Some players are loyal to the old guard, some are eager

Iman Shumpert

Iman Shumpert

for a change.  Faried, though, is a rare commodity in the NBA: a player who can get you a dozen boards and a dozen points on a nightly basis and play solid defence without acting like a diva on the offensive end. 

If the Nuggets do trade Faried, they’d better get a solid front court player back in the deal. Trading big for small has never lead any team to a championship, much less a team who is trading a doube-double defender for a shooting guard who can’t shoot (Shumpert is .401 on his career and has not shown signs of improvement so far this season).  Aside from the ‘big-for-small’ rule, you also don’t trade a starter, who is a potential All-Star, for a guy who is struggling to break the rotation unless you are in desperate need to clear cap space to a pending free agent. 

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

Should Denver be looking to move somebody, they should be trying to move JaVale McGee.  McGee is in his sixth season and he is still handing out more turnovers than assists; last season he posted the highest turnovers-per-36 average of his career.  He has also failed to improve his blocks-to-fouls ratio significantly.  McGee is overeager on defense and commits many fouls, putting him in foul trouble early in game and preventing him from playing extended minutes and also getting the other team on the line. What team wants to pay out a max contract for a player who can’t even get 30 minutes a game because he keeps getting himself into foul trouble?   McGee’s rebounding number, though solid, are not nearly as impressive as Faried’s.  It might be hard to move McGee, but some teams are desperate for a big man and will take McGee’s potential over the nothing they have. 

kenfariedFaried should be the player Denver keeps.  His rebounding numbers are better, he seems to be far less inept on offense, he gets more assists than turnovers and he seldom has to be taken out of the game early due to foul trouble.  If Denver wants to clear some cap space, or avoid having two max contracts on their roster, the player they should be trying to move is McGee.  If the Nuggets to end up moving Faried though, they’d better get more than Iman Shumpert in return.

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