DENVER (AP) - The Denver Nuggets are normally spectators on draft night. This year they made plenty of noise.
The Nuggets beefed up their frontcourt by taking forward Keith Faried with the 22nd pick and acquired the rights to forward Jordan Hamilton, point guard Andre Miller and a future second-round pick from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for guard Raymond Felton.
Denver also traded a future second-round pick for Chukwudiebere Maduabum, the Los Angeles Lakers’ 56th pick in the second round.
“It was very important to us to get a couple of young guys and address some kind of a need,” said Masai Ujiri, Denver’s executive vice president of basketball operations. “Both are NBA-ready and both need development. Jordan Hamilton is a good scorer, a really good shooter. Kenneth Faried is a great rebounder, and rebounding translates to the NBA. He fell right in our lap.”
The 6-foot-8, 228-pound Faried was high on the Nuggets‘ wish list after he worked out with the team June 8 in Denver. The Nuggets love his physical style and rebounding prowess, skills that will strengthen their unsettled low post situation. Veteran Kenyon Martin is an unrestricted free agent, Nene is a restricted free agent and Chris Andersen is coming off a season in which he was hampered by injuries.
“I think I can make an immediate impact if they don’t bring Kenyon Martin back or if they can’t bring Nene back,” Faried said.
Faried’s 1,673 career rebounds set a modern-era NCAA record, surpassing Tim Duncan’s mark of 1,570. He had 86 career double-doubles, one behind Duncan in NCAA Division I history.
Faried feels he can duplicate his success in the NBA.
“I’m not scared. I have the attitude to keep going until I get the rebound.”
Despite playing for mid-major Morehead State, Faried raised his profile with a strong showing in the NCAA tournament in Denver last spring. He had 12 points and 17 rebounds in the Eagles’ first-round upset of Louisville. He blocked Mike Marra’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer to preserve the 62-61 win.
Faried was named the Ohio Valley Conference player of the year for the second straight season after he scored in double figures in 33 of 35 games as a senior, and had 29 double-doubles.
Now he’s returning to the city where he played his final college game.
“I had a great feeling about Denver when I played in the tournament there,” he said.