Washington Wizards: 3 potential targets in 2019 NBA free agency

Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images /
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Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images /

2. Kenneth Faried

The “Manimal” has had to find his role in the league after being an electric player to begin his career with the Denver Nuggets. After seeing his minutes go under 15 per game in 2017-18, Kenneth Faried began his career away from the Mile High City with the Brooklyn Nets last season.

He played just 12 games there before being waived. When Houston Rockets center Clint Capela got injured and Nene could not hold down the 5-spot alone, the Rockets signed Faried to be the pick-and-roll complement to James Harden.

There he averaged 12.9 points and 8.2 rebounds in 24.4 minutes per game. His high-energy play and his competitive attitude were infectious for the Rockets as they rolled down the stretch.

Faried is an extremely efficient player on the court. His career PER is 19.7 and last season with the Rockets it was 21.8. If he had played enough games, that would have put him higher than players like Al Horford, Lou Williams and Jimmy Butler.

If he were to sign with Washington, those efficiency numbers could not be the expectation without Harden on the floor. However, he could provide a good pick-and-roll complement to Bradley Beal as the power forward, leaving center Dwight Howard in the paint where he is far more comfortable.

Surprisingly, Faried shot 32.0 percent from behind the arc last season in a limited sample size. If he has improved his game from there, it would be a pleasant bonus. A Faried-Howard frontcourt would be tenacious on the boards and Faried’s mobility still allows him to move up and down the court like a forward.

Another veteran, Faried would also be a great mentor for the No. 9 pick, Rui Hachimura. While the rookie is more of a finesse player compared to Faried’s power, he could provide advice on screening, moving on offense and especially rebounding at the game’s highest level.