San Antonio Spurs should reach out to free agent Kenneth Faried for a workout
By Dylan Carter
Free agent power forward/center Kenneth Faried is currently without a team and the San Antonio Spurs could use his energy in the frontcourt.
The summer of 2019 saw multiple quality NBA free agents opt to move to other leagues for expanded opportunity and hefty payouts. Most notably, forward Nikola Mirotic turned down lucrative deals with the Utah Jazz and others to sign in Barcelona. The infamous Lance Stephenson signed an international contract shortly thereafter and eventually, big man Kenneth Faried did the same.
However, Faried’s tenure in China ran short as the deal signed in November was then terminated in December, so the 30-year-old is waiting for someone’s call. Playing for the San Antonio Spurs‘ rival Houston Rockets last year, Faried averaged 12.9 points and 8.2 rebounds in 24.4 minutes per game. He started becoming comfortable with his outside shot, making 7-of-20 in 25 games.
Faried did so while maintaining his status as ‘The Manimal,’ dazzling crowds with high-flying athleticism. Though he never reached an expanded role in this league, Faried spent seven seasons in the Mile High City and made the 2011-12 All-Rookie team for a breakout campaign coming out of Morehead State.
During his time in the league, Faried was known for his ability to play above the rim, detonate on the offensive glass and move around swiftly on defense. He proved in his stint with the Rockets that he’s just as deadly in the pick-and-roll as ever and his instincts around the basket are still keen.
San Antonio doesn’t have a lot of versatile defenders in the frontcourt. With the exception of Rudy Gay, who doesn’t possess the strength to adequately muscle true bigs in the paints, San Antonio’s frontcourt players are one-dimensional on defense, whereas Faried is quick and athletic enough to defend near the rim or around the perimeter against other bigs.
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There are plenty of other things to consider with Faried. There very easily could be something behind closed doors that has kept him off NBA rosters this season, but it very well may be an oversight by those around the league. No one wanted to go near future Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony this summer, but he’s producing very well for the Trail Blazers now that he’s been given a chance.
Learning the Spurs’ system is no easy task, which is the presumed reasoning behind forward DeMarre Carroll behind exiled to the Spurs’ bench by Coach Gregg Popovich. However, it wouldn’t hurt to bring him in for a workout to see what he looks like and how he can mesh with the group that general manager Brian Wright constructed in the Alamo City.
This would mean moving or cutting someone else, like Carroll or veteran sniper Marco Belinelli, but trading either of those players wouldn’t be earth-shattering for the organization hanging desperately onto the eighth seed.
Why not give Faried a chance to showcase himself and see how much gas is left in the tank?