Rockets: Players that could replace Christian Wood — 2. Kenneth Faried
Although Kenneth Faried led the NCAA in rebounds in each of his final two seasons at Morehead State, The Manimal fell outside of the draft lottery in the 2011 NBA Draft, before being selected with the 22nd pick by the Denver Nuggets.
Faried instantly provided value as a rookie during the 2011-12 lockout-shortened season, posting averages of 10.2 points on 58.6 percent from the floor, while nabbing 7.7 rebounds in just 22.5 minutes of gameplay. What followed in the subsequent seasons was The Manimal’s dominance on the boards, as he finished within the top-20 in rebounds for three consecutive seasons from 2012-15.
Faried also continued to post double figures in the scoring department, despite taking no more than 10 shots per game, as he averaged 11.5 points, 13.7 points, and 12.6 points during that span. The 6-foot-8 big man’s minutes dwindled with the Denver Nuggets for the following three seasons, before he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets prior to the start of the 2018-19 season.
Faried was bought out after just 12 games in Brooklyn, as he was clearly not a part of then coach Kenny Atkinson’s rotation, which was evident by Faried’s 9.8 minutes per night. The Rockets, who had just received word of Clint Capela‘s injury diagnosis of his thumb injury, signed Faried for a fairly low cost, which was a move that paid off.
Faried averaged 12.9 points and 8.2 rebounds, with 3.3 coming on the offensive end, which were both second behind only Capela. Faried racked up 12 double-doubles in just 25 games with the Rockets and helped the Rockets overcome an 11-14 start to finish with the fourth seed in the Western Conference.
Faried was strangely deemed unplayable during the postseason, and failed to come to terms with the franchise in the offseason, and eventually bolted to play overseas in China. With Faried’s proven ability to step in following an injury, which is what the Houston Rockets find themselves dealing with yet again, he’d be worth a call.
Next: No. 1