Faried, who is owed nearly $13.7 million next season and undoubtedly would’ve come attached with a pick of some sort, has fallen out of Denver’s rotation.
Averaging over eight rebounds per game for his career, the high-motor forward theoretically could’ve provided a boost to Indiana’s anemic rebounding rate, but his most reliable skill can make it a challenge for him to defend against opposing stretch-fours and he can’t (and largely doesn’t) shoot from mid-range extended.
Plus, with Myles Turner, Thaddeus Young, and Domantas Sabonis averaging 86.4 minutes of action between the two frontcourt positions and T.J. Leaf already in need of experience to develop, it’s difficult to imagine how Indiana’s depth chart would’ve satisfied Faried’s bluntly expressed desire to start and play.
“There are 29 other teams,” The Denver Post reports the high-motor forward told reporters on media day. “If this team doesn’t want, or respect me enough, to play me the minutes that I think I deserve to play, then I understand that. Hey, there’s 29 others. Maybe I’ll go somewhere else and do what I need to do there. But at the same token, I’m here in Denver, and I want to play Manimal basketball, no matter what, every time I step on that court.”
Not to mention that once Glenn Robinson III returns to action, Nate McMillan will also have the option to redistribute some of Bojan Bogdanovic’s minutes to the four position with bench lineups.
Since they will still be dealing from a position of strength ahead of draft night, it seems that the Pacers decided that whichever pick it was that the Nuggets were dangling as an incentive wasn’t worth putting a damper on the team’s positive locker room environment in the immediate.
“We’ve had such good chemistry, you are reluctant maybe to disrupt that,” General Manager Chad Buchanan said during a pregame interview with Fox Sports Indiana’s broadcast team. “You also want to do what’s best for the organization long-term. We are in no hurry to change up anything with this team. The guys like being with each other. They’ve had success.”
By standing pat, Kevin Pritchard still has the option to shop the partially guaranteed contracts of Bojan Bogdanovic, Darren Collison, and Al Jefferson to team’s looking to shed salary.