Denver Nuggets: J.J. Hickson Signing Points to Kenneth Faried Trade

By Peter Sherwill
Hickson and Faried
Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

J.J. Hickson signed a three-year deal worth $15 million with the Denver Nuggets. This acquisition creates even more of a big man logjam in Denver than they had previously.

The Nuggets also traded for Darrell Arthur on draft night and are still looking to retain Timofey Mozgov. The summer is still young and all signs seem to point to the Nuggets making further transactions before the 2013-14 season tips off.

Denver has been rumored to be shopping Andre Miller and attempted to include him in the draft night deal with the Memphis Grizzlies. However they felt that Miller came at too high of a cost for a backup point guard. Another draft night rumor had Kenneth Faried being traded to the Orlando Magic for the no. 2 overall pick.

With the acquisition of Hickson, this likely seals Faried’s exit from Denver. Hickson and Faried play very similar styles of basketball as high-volume rebounding forwards. However, Hickson has a much more developed offensive game and is also a more traditionally-sized power forward. All of this now makes Faried expendable for the Nuggets.

The Nuggets continue to be mentioned in the same breath as Monta Ellis and this rumor just will not go away. Denver does not have the requisite salary cap room to sign Ellis outright. They would need to facilitate a sign-and-trade deal.

As evidenced on draft night, the Nuggets are not finding any takers for Miller and will have to sweeten the pot and give a team incentive to take the 37-year-old point guard. That incentive is Faried.

After losing Andre Iguodala, Denver is still trying to figure out its shooting guard position, and it appears that they are going after Ellis. The Nuggets would be much wiser to look at Gary Neal. Both Ellis and Neal are similarly undersized to play shooting guard. However, Neal is a much more prolific 3-point shooter and that is a point of weakness for the Nuggets.

Also, Ellis has had questionable attitude issues in the past and that is not something that Denver should want to influence their young players with. Neal has played all three of his NBA seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, a team noted for its professionalism.

It has been an unpredictable rollercoaster of an offseason for the Nuggets, and it looks like there are still plenty of twists and turns to be taken before opening night.

Peter Sherwill is a Denver Nuggets writer for Follow him on Twitter @PeterSherwill or add him to your network on Google

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