Despite a disappointing season for the Denver Nuggets last season, Kenneth Faried was a bright spot on the team. Through his passion and tenacity, he became the most efficient player on the team last season, and he only increased his productivity this summer when playing for Team USA during the FIBA World Cup. With his increased production, it was announced over the weekend that Kenneth Faried signed a new contract worth $60 million for five years; however, due to current rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), details of the contract are now in question.
News of the announcement was initially reported on by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports on Monday. In the initial five-year deal that was supposed to be worth $60 million, Faried would have made $12 million per season. The problem currently is that the CBA has a provision that most players coming off their rookie contracts can only have a four-year extension. Additionally, those able to have a five-year max deal must have a 7.5 percent increase in annual raises.
With the five-year deal worth $60 million off the table, there are three possibilities of what Faried can be offered. The first possibility is that Faried could keep his five-year deal, but he would be paid approximately $89 million. The reason the amount is approximate is that max contracts are not given final amounts until the July before the season begins, as it is related to the set salary cap amount. The problem with this contract is that while Faried has shown he is a player on the rise, he would be overpaid in this scenario. On average, he would be making $17.8 million per season, which is an amount usually reserved for franchise players. While Faried has the potential to be a franchise player, he does not put up the numbers to warrant that kind of salary yet.
The second possibility is that Wojnarowski was correct in the amount but not the length of the contract. In the second scenario, Faried could be offered four years of $60 million, where he would be making approximately $15 million per season. This offer is a much more realistic one for Faried. Much like the $89 million offer, this contract could also be one that has the potential to overpay the forward, without any seasons under his belt that is worth that kind of money.
Four years worth $57,750,232 is the third and final option the Nuggets could offer Faried. In this scenario, his pay would be slightly less than the $60 million contract. As such, he would be paid $14,537,558 per season, which is the more realistic option.
There is no question to most that Faried is one of the top blooming power forwards in the league. For the entirety of last season, he averaged 13.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg, .9 bpg and .9 spg. Those are decent numbers. What is catapulting him to a stellar contract is what he did after the All-Star break. During that span, Faried averaged 18.8 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.1 spg and .7 bpg with an average of 54.6 percent shooting. More impressive is that he averaged 20.6 ppg and 12.3 rpg during the final 11 games of the season.
This summer, Faried played an integral part of Team USA during the FIBA World Cup. In the tournament, along with Anthony Davis, he was one of the more consistent players on the team-based squad. Not only did the forward produce 12.2 ppg and 7.7 rpg, along with 63.3 percent shooting, but he showed his blossoming leadership skills on a team who had many of its key players drop from the tournament.
To be able to obtain a hefty max contract, a player should prove himself consistently over a number of years. There is not much question from his peers and otherwise that Kenneth Faried has the potential to obtain a substantial contract from his Denver Nuggets, but until it is announced, details will have to be worked out with his team first. It is evident that the forward and Denver want to continue their relationship. In order to be careful and to not jump the gun though, the Nuggets need to ensure that Faried is the real deal and not just a flash in the pan. If he proves that over the next six years, the sky is the limit in terms of what the power forward can accomplish.
Commentary By Simon Mounsey