#22: Kenneth Faried
Kenneth Faried is officially the newest member of the Denver Nuggets.
The Newark native was in the building when David Stern announced that he had been drafted with the 22nd overall selection. Many around the league believed that Faried would land in Portland one pick earlier, but the Nuggets were happy to see him slip to them.
“I worked out for them and I had a great sense that they were going to take me,” Faried said. “It wasn’t really a long shot them taking me because of the fact that I played up there and they know how I played, I played really well even though the high altitude and when I did go to work out for them, I played even better and it just seemed to be the right fit for me.”
Faried is considered the best rebounder in this draft class. He has drawn comparisons to Dennis Rodman because of his ability to clean the glass, and his 1,813 career rebounds at Morehead State topped some of the best rebounders in recent history, including Tim Duncan and Derrick Coleman.
Last season with the Eagles, Faried showed improvement across the board, averaging a career-high 17.3 points, 14.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. After spending four years at Morehead State, he’s experienced and expected to contribute right away, which is exactly what Denver needs because they have playoff aspirations.
“I plan on making an immediate impact because I’m a relentless person with a hard work ethic and since they are not signing Kenyon Martin, hopefully I can come in and fill that void,” Faried said. “But he’s a great player and it’s going to be really hard but I’m going to push myself to get to that point.”
Faried saw his stock increase throughout this process thanks to his workouts and the fact that so many big men decided to return to school next season. He’s a tough player who does the dirty work, and his contributions will be welcome with open arms in Denver.