What’s Going on Between Kenneth Faried and the Houston Rockets?

Kenneth Faried #35 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Kenneth Faried #35 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The Rockets have been scouring the market for bigs, but what happened to Kenneth Faried, who excelled for the Rockets? Here’s what may likely be happening.

The Houston Rockets have made it known that they want to add bigs, as they visited with JaVale McGee and had interest in Kevon Looney before he re-signed with the Warriors.

But what’s gotten lost in their interest in adding another big is the fact that they added one mid-season in Kenneth “Manimal” Faried. The Manimal had a resurgence of a season and arrived at a much-needed time for the Rockets, as they were decimated by injuries at that point. Faried went to average 13 points and 8 rebounds per game, appearing in 25 games. Faried averaged the second most points per game in his 8 year career, and shot a career best 35% from three. His 3.3 offensive rebounds per game in Houston were the second most of his career and would have been 10th best in the league this past season. In addition, Faried had 12 double-doubles while in a Houston uniform, flashing signs of the brilliance that earned him the Manimal reputation.

It’s possible that Faried is seeking a payday after having his best season in the last 5 years. The unfortunate part for the Rockets is that they don’t have much wiggle room and likely don’t want to give Faried the mid-level exception. But you have to wonder if Faried would even take the mid-level exception as he was averaging 12.5 million per season on his last contract prior to getting bought out by the Brooklyn Nets. He also is set to turn 30 in November of this year and is likely seeking what he anticipates as his last payday, as he almost found himself out of the league before landing an opportunity with the Rockets. The Rockets were able to sign him for the minimum, but I’m sure he wouldn’t agree to the minimum again after balling out this past year.

From the Rockets standpoint, they probably feel like they were the reason he got a chance to show what he still can do, as he hadn’t started any of the 12 games he played for the Brooklyn Nets and only played 10 minutes per night after falling out of the rotation. By comparison, he started in 13 of the 25 games he played for the Rockets, averaging 24.4 minutes per night. The Rockets possibly feel they have leverage also as we’ve not heard of Faried meeting with any other teams, in spite of his resurgence last year. Faried is probably sensing that he has leverage now that Nene has opted out and he knows the Rockets are valuing bigs on the market.

It’s possible that Faried won’t become the Rockets priority until all of the other quality bigs are off the market. So far, Kevon Looney, Enes Kanter, Daniel Theis, Dewayne Dedmon, Robin Lopez and Willie Cauley-Stein have all been claimed, to name a few. At this rate, the Rockets may not have a choice but to negotiate a contract with Faried. For Faried, the fact that so many bigs have gotten prioritized over him in spite of his strong play could get him to lower his asking price.

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Hopefully for Rockets fans, both sides are willing to budge because they each need each other! We’ll keep you posted!