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Kenneth Faried's name has been in and out of trade rumors since before the season even began. It has come as a bit of a surprise, Faried has been a great player for Denver and is still on his rookie contract. However, his name is back in the mix for trade talks according to Basketball Insiders, here's what they had to say on Faried:

There’s been a lot of smoke around the league that Denver’s made (Kenneth) Faried available in trade talk. The Nuggets, of course, deny it, which means it’s likely true. The Nuggets have been unhappy with Faried’s defense this season, and aren’t inclined at the moment to give him a huge deal. They’ve already got $79 million committed the next two seasons to Lawson, JaVale McGee and Danilo Gallinari.

So the first question is: should Boston have interest? Despite some complications that would need to be addressed, the short answer is yes.

Faried's contract pays him $1.4 million this season, and he is due $2.3 million next season before becoming a free agent in 2015. This works well for Danny Ainge in more than one way. Faried is a cheap contract for his production, rookie contracts are gold in the NBA, and Faried is certainly worth owning.

If he played well in Boston, Faried would be a candidate to be re-signed (if Boston has the money depending on a Rondo deal) and become a part of the rebuild, or he could even become a trade chip next season for Ainge. If Faried did not work out in Boston, it still would not be a total loss. The summer of 2015 is already when Ainge is planning to make his biggest moves, Faried would be able to come off the books and sign elsewhere if he was a disappointment.

The next question becomes: what would Faried cost? Unfortunately the answer is a lot. And there are not a ton of trade options between Boston and Denver.

Boston could offer Kelly Olynyk for Faried, but that would be an easy pass for Denver, which means Ainge would need to add picks. If Ainge is confident that Boston wants to, and more importantly are able to re-sign Faried, maybe they offer one of their own or Brooklyn's future first rounders. But most likely Boston would feel comfortable offering Olynyk, the 2015 Clippers first-round-pick and possibly a second rounder to top it off if needed.

If the Nuggets want backcourt help, Boston could offer Avery Bradley if Ainge sees Faried as a better building block than AB. A Bradley-Faried swap seems pretty fair, but in order to make the money match Denver would have to include Jordan Hamilton, who has a $1.1 million expiring contract.

The final option would be both teams helping each other take unwanted contracts. Boston would receive Andre Miller with Faried, and Brandon Bass would go to Denver. Miller's $5 million expires after next season, just like Bass' contract. Since Boston is getting the only asset, they would probably have to add a pick of some sort. But the Nuggets are not happy with Miller and would love to get rid of him. . . that would then become Ainge's problem.

And finally: how does this work basketball wise? It works well for Boston, but leaves a defensive hole on the exterior that would need to be filled.

Boston's core would now be based around a trio of Rondo-Sullinger-Faried (and possibly Bradley if he is not traded and re-signs). The Sully-Faried combo would be dominant on the glass to say the least, and certainly would put points on the board.

On the other side of the ball Boston would now have a huge void to fill. A defensive minded center that could come off the bench and play big minutes if needed would become a necessity. While Boston would hope they could develop their new duo on the defensive end, if Ainge could find the right piece to add as insurence, then perhaps this is a good fit.

Faried has experienced minor regressions this season since having a career year in 2012-13. His numbers in 2013-14 (10.9 PPG and 7.6 RPG) have dipped from last season (11.5 PPG and 9.2 RPG), which could be a coincidence.

Nonetheless, Faried should be growing in his third season in the league, not moving backwards. Which would leave it up to Ainge to decide if we have already seen Faried's ceiling, or if he is simply not being put in a situation to succeed.

Although a trade that lands Faried in Boston seems unlikely, it is not impossible, and certainly is fun to imagine. Discuss below, does Faried to Boston make any sense?

Follow Julian on Twitter @julianedlow

See more of Julian's articles here

Source: Basketball Insiders

Julian Edlow 2/11/2014 11:04:00 PM Edit
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