Brooklyn Nets: Kenneth Faried claims he was lied to about playing time

Brooklyn Nets Kenneth Faried. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Kenneth Faried. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Now with the Houston Rockets, Kenneth Faried returned to New York Tuesday blasting the Brooklyn Nets for how he was handled during his tenure with the team.

That didn’t take long. In the latest episode of “released player blasts former team,” Kenneth Faried claims the Brooklyn Nets misled him about his opportunity to play for the team after they acquired in him a trade from the Denver Nuggets last summer.

Faried, signed Monday as a free agent by the Houston Rockets after he cleared waivers, made his debut for his new team in a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, scoring 13 points in 23 minutes of playing time,

Back in New York with his new team to face the Knicks on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, Faried told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News a very unhappy tale of his time in Brooklyn.

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"“It’s very frustrating. A lot of, ‘We’re going to play you when injuries’ and a lot of, ‘We’re going to play you when in this moment, that moment.’ Just tell me when you’re going to play me or tell me if you don’t want to play me. Tell me if you want me here or not.“Because I’m a real honest player, I’m going to give you my heart, give you my all. And I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I’m not going to be happy if you keep lying to me and telling me false statements.”"

The Nets, aware of the Rockets’ interest in adding Faried after Houston lost starting center Clint Capela for four to six weeks following surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb, waived Faried on Saturday after negotiating a buyout of the remainder of his $13.76 million salary for this season.

He was in the final year of the four-year, $50 million extension he signed with the Denver Nuggets in October 2014 and Tim Bontemps of ESPN reported Monday that Faried gave up $450,000 of his remaining salary in the buyout deal.

Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson often spoke of his frustration at not being able to find a role for Faried with the Nets and talked about that again on Tuesday during an appearance on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN New York (h/t Christopher Lavinio via Twitter).

"“I felt bad we didn’t give him more of an opportunity. It was a simple case of Jarrett Allen playing great … and Ed Davis has been fantastic for us. It was a matter of two guys playing great at his position. Kenneth didn’t play bad, he was in great shape, had a great spirit and attitude.”"

His value in Denver had declined to the point that, after Faried was a healthy scratch for the final 32 games of last season, the Nuggets sweetened the deal with a top-12 protected first-round pick and sent Faried and Darrell Arthur to the Nets in exchange for Isaiah Whitehead.

Faried says he was told by the Nets they did not trust him.

"“That was the perception. The, ‘I don’t know you yet.’ A lot of beating around the bush as to why they wouldn’t play me. So it was like, if we figure something out then let’s immediately make that move. Because I don’t want to hinder y’all and y’all hindering my career, pretty much.”"

Faried played most of his career as a 4, but with offenses spreading out and putting more of a premium on stretching the floor, his skill set soon didn’t fit. That was the problem under coach Mike Malone in Denver and it continued to be a problem in Brooklyn.

The Nets played him primarily as a 5 behind Allen and Davis, though he did get one opportunity to play at the stretch 4 spot in a Jan. 7 loss to the Boston Celtics, when Brooklyn was short DeMarre Carroll and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson due to injuries.

In that game, Faried came off the bench and played 29 minutes — his longest stint as a Net — and finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds on 5-of-10 shooting, going 1-for-4 from 3-point range. It was his first made 3-pointer since the 2015-16 season.

In 12 appearances with Brooklyn, Faried played just 118 minutes and averaged 5.1 points and 3.7 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per game, shooting 59.5 percent overall and going 1-for-5 from deep.

Faried’s comments were reminiscent of those made by former Net Timofey Mozgov early last summer before he was traded to the Charlotte Hornets.

Not playing is difficult, particularly for players such as Faried that were once starters and important pieces for their organizations. To his credit, Faried played hard when he got his opportunities, however limited those were.

But he also seemed aloof at times on the sidelines, almost like a player caught between being here and not being here. Faried is now in a situation where, at least in the short term, he will get regular minutes, although what happens when Capela is healthy enough to play is anyone’s guess.

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If his playing time shrinks once again, it will be interesting to see if he puts the Rockets management on blast when he hits free agency this summer.