Brooklyn Nets rumors: Kenneth Faried not pursuing buyout

Brooklyn Nets Kenneth Faried. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Kenneth Faried. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

While Brooklyn Nets forgotten man Kenneth Faried has popped up on some lists as a buyout candidate, coach Kenny Atkinson says Faried hasn’t made a request.

Kenneth Faried‘s name has been popping up in the NBA rumor mill lately as a potential candidate to have the final few months of his contract bought out before the March 1 postseason eligibility deadline, but Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson says Faried hasn’t made such a request.

Faried was one of several players listed in a piece from ESPN’s NBA Insiders last week as part of a rumors report from the NBA G League Winter Showcase in Las Vegas.

Atkinson said Thursday, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post, that Faried hasn’t asked for a buyout.

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"“No [he hasn’t asked]. I know [about the reports]. I just like him on this team. He’s been really good. I just hope we can get him an opportunity. He’s been fantastic. I don’t feel great about it, because he’s been fantastic. It’s weird, some guys, they check out. He hasn’t.”"

Atkinson insists the problem hasn’t been Faried as much as it has been the play of the guys ahead of him in the big man rotation.

"“We have a plethora of bigs, especially since we can go small. That 4 position has become a little bit of a guard when you go small, so that hurts him a little. I do think his ideal position is a rolling 5 in this league and I think he could be really good at it.“It’s just with [Ed Davis] playing fantastic ball, it’s more about the other guys and being satisfied with our bigs than him.”"

Faried, the 29-year-old who was a starter and an all-tournament selection for USA Basketball when it won the FIBA World Cup in 2014, was acquired from the Denver Nuggets in July along with Darrell Arthur, a top-12 protected 2019 first-round pick and a 2020 second-round selection in exchange for Isaiah Whitehead.

He is in the final year of the four-year, $50 million extension he signed with the Nuggets in October 2014 and is due $13.76 million this season.

After losing his rotation spot in Denver last season and playing in just 32 games, none after Feb. 1, Faried has played just 50 minutes in nine games this season for Brooklyn, though he has dressed for 35 of the Nets’ 36 games thus far.

He has 25 points and 17 rebounds in those 50 minutes, hitting 11-of-14 shots while going 3-for-7 at the foul line.

Faried last played on Dec. 16, when he got in for the final five minutes of the Nets’ blowout win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Atkinson insists that Faried will get an opportunity to help the club at some point and acknowledged the controversy — albeit a small one — created when Faried liked some Instagram comments calling for him to get more playing time, including a comment that referred to teammate Jared Dudley as a “bum.”

"“Listen, I don’t hold that against him. I see his work every day. He’s in great shape. There’s nothing like, ‘Oh, he’s not in shape.’ I just feel like I haven’t given him the opportunity and the opportunity hasn’t presented itself. He’s been fantastic.“Listen, I’m sure he’s reached a point obviously with the comments he made. But I don’t hold that against him.”"

With the Nets over the salary cap, buying out Faried wouldn’t do anything but free up a roster spot for a player on a minimum salary, as they have no exceptions available this season, per Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights.

With reports earlier this month that general manager Sean Marks may be in the market to add a piece or two if Brooklyn remains in playoff contention, Faried’s salary and perhaps the protected 2019 first-rounder from the Nuggets could be used in a trade.

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Otherwise, Faried could be looking at entering the free agency market this summer without much of a playing portfolio over the last two seasons in a league that no longer values the traditional power forward the way it once did.