NBA Trade Rumors: Kenneth Faried To Lakers, Nick Young To Nuggets

Denver power forward Kenneth Faried has been one of the most oft-mentioned players in NBA trade rumors this summer. The Los Angeles Lakers have also been a regular in the rumor mill, with some of that speculation surrounding shooting guard Nick Young.

According to Mobile & Apps, there is a strong possibility that the Lakers will trade Young to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Faried. Based on numerous reports this off-season, it does appear that the players known as “Swaggy P” and “Manimal” are being shopped by their respective teams. However, it remains to be seen if Young and Faried will be dealt for each other.

On the surface, Kenneth Faried doesn’t seem to be an ideal fit with the Lakers, considering they have Julius Randle at power forward and newly-signed Timofey Mozgov in the middle. Faried would provide excellent frontcourt depth, but probably wouldn’t be a starter in Los Angeles. The Lakers need to bring in impact players after a lackluster 2015-16 season, but a high-energy backup forward like Faried may be the best they can do if Nick Young is being used as trade bait.

In terms of how this looks from Denver’s perspective, Young would be slotted in the same role he has played his entire career — instant offense guy off the bench. The Nuggets have a young shooting guard in Gary Harris that they seem committed to, so Young would back him up and theoretically assist Harris in his development as an NBA guard.


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There are specific reasons that both Young and Faried are on the trading block. Nick Young has become well known for off-the-court drama, much to the chagrin of Lakers’ brass. Most recently, Nick Young and teammate D’Angelo Russell were involved in a very public feud over Russell’s video recording of Young discussing his cheating ways while engaged to pop star Iggy Azalea (as reported by USA Today). The atmosphere in the Lakers’ locker room became very toxic last season, and Los Angeles feels that unloading Nick Young would help in that regard.

Kenneth Faried and the Nuggets have their issues as well. Faried is not the type of player a team builds their roster around since he is a scrappy but offensively-challenged power forward. Denver gave him a $50 million contract extension in 2014, and Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN has divulged that Faried began to think of himself as “the man” once he signed that lucrative extension, and he has since been an unpopular figure throughout all levels of the organization. The Nuggets now feel a bit trapped by the deal they gave Faried, so they’ve been exploring trade opportunities for him in recent months.

Sometimes, a fresh start is all a player needs to reignite his career, and this could work for Faried and Young if they both wear new uniforms in 2016-17. Neither would be counted on for more than a sixth man role, and they could flourish off the bench — Faried with his rebounding, defense, and all-out hustle, Young with his aggressive scoring mentality.

Kenneth Faried has been a consistent performer since joining the NBA in 2011, averaging 12.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game during his five years with Denver. Nick Young had a poor 2015-16 campaign (7.3 points per game on 34 percent shooting), but he has shown in the past that he is an effective scorer (Young has averaged more than 17 points per contest two times during his NBA career).

This summer’s NBA trade rumors indicate a lot of activity behind the scenes, with the Lakers and Nuggets among the most actively-mentioned teams. A Faried-for-Young swap won’t move the Earth for either of these franchises, but it is a deal that would more than likely be a plus for everyone involved.

[Photo by David Zalubowski/AP Images]