Kenneth Faried eyes contract extension with Nuggets, admits trade talk affected him last season

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Kenneth Faried was once thought to be untouchable in the eyes of those making decisions for the Nuggets, due to possessing a rare combination of athleticism and consistent all-out effort that simply can’t be taught.

But there were trade rumors that persisted last season, in part due to Faried’s slow start, but also because of a new regime taking over in the front office that didn’t place as high a value on his services.

Now, of course, Faried is once again seen as an elite frontcourt player, especially after his recently dominant showing for Team USA in FIBA World Cup play this summer. He’s eligible for a contract extension in advance of the Oct. 31 deadline, and he wants one. But he’s doing his best to keep his focus on basketball instead.

From Spencer Lund of Dime Magazine:

Dime: Back to basketball. You’re coming up on a big year, and your agent is negotiating an extension right now. You had mentioned trade rumors sort of getting in your head towards the end of last season. Are you hoping the extension gets signed before the deadline (Oct. 31) so it’s not hanging over you head when the season begins?

KF: Yeah. Yeah, I do. An extension is just, we get it to the point where both sides agree, and I can just sign — And go ahead and do my thing. Do what I’m wanted, or basically what I have been [doing]. But it’s tough, you know. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. And I’m gonna try my best not to let it just effect me, like it did last year with the whole trade talk. It’s tough when you’re a player and you don’t know where, or who wants to lock you down. And if the team that drafted you doesn’t really want you, it seems like it’s a waste of time even wanting to play for that team.

It’s easy to see where Faried is coming from, and it’s refreshing to see a player so invested in wanting to stay with a team that isn’t exactly poised to contend for a title anytime soon.

But if something doesn’t get done, it really might be for the best. Like other players in this situation, a big year for Faried could mean big dollars as a restricted free agent next summer — either in Denver, or ultimately, somewhere else.