The acquisition of Paul Millsap is expected to strengthen the Denver Nuggets’ chance of becoming a playoff contender in the upcoming 2017-18 NBA season. While most people in Denver are happy with Millsap’s arrival, Kenneth Faried doesn’t look thrilled at all since he may end up losing the role as the Nuggets’ starting power forward.
More than two weeks before the start of the regular season, Nuggets’ head coach Michael Malone has already revealed their starting lineup: C – Nikola Jokic, PF – Paul Millsap, SF – Wilson Chandler, and SG – Garry Harris. Malone said that their starting point guard will be determined in training camp, with Jamal Murray, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Jameer Nelson battling for the spot.
The Nuggets’ starting lineup isn’t surprising at all, especially with Millsap replacing Kenneth Faried as starting power forward. Last season, Faried and Chandler served as power forwards. Both offered different skill sets in which Millsap possessed, making him more deserving for the starting role. However, according to Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post, Faried isn’t willing to accept a bench role and has threatened to demand a trade if he will not receive the playing time he deserves.
“I’ll just put it out there for everybody. I’m not a bench player. I’ve been saying that for the longest. I’m a starter,” Faried said. “I love to hear the crowd (when introduced as), ‘Starting at power forward, No. 35, Kenneth Faried.’ Yes, that’s me. One hundred percent, that’s been my whole life. And I’m going to fight for a starting position. I’m just not going to lay down and let somebody take it.”
Kenneth Faried, whose Nuggets’ contract runs through 2019, said that “there are 29 other teams” and added that all he wants is to play “Manimal basketball” on the court. According to Basketball Insiders, this is not the first time Faried has been involved in the NBA trade circles. Since he signed the four-year, $50 million extension with the Nuggets, rumors and speculations continue to swirl around the 27-year-old power forward.
The arrival of Paul Millsap hinted that the Nuggets are willing to move on from Faried, especially if the right deal comes along. The disgruntled forward only had minimal trade value in July and expected to be worth even less after he expressed his sentiment about his role. So far, Millsap and Nikola Jokic are working on their chemistry as they’re trying to get used to each other.
Coach Michael Malone revealed that the two big men are already meshing together nicely. With the current situation, it will not be a surprise fans if Kenneth Faried does not finish the season with the Nuggets. If the Millsap-Jokic frontcourt duo works well, Denver could trade Faried before the February deadline.
[Featured Image by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]