Denver Nuggets Rumors: Kenneth Faried Confident Ty Lawson, JaVale McGee Emerge as Stars in 2013, Hakeem Olajuwon Helps Forward in Offseason

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Aug 08, 2013 11:25 AM EDT
Kenneth Faried
Denver Nuggets Kenneth Faried dunks against the Golden State Warriors during Game 6 of their NBA Western Conference quarter-final playoff basketball game in Oakland, California May 2, 2013. "

Kenneth Faried does not believe in the word "rebuilding." The Denver Nuggets might enter 2013 as a much different team than 2012, but that is of no concern to the young forward. The Nuggets lost their NBA Coach of the Year and super star Andre Iguodala, not to mention their NBA executive of the Year Masai Ujirir who left for the Toronto Raptors. With all the turnover, Faried simply says it is time for the next man to step up.

Faried emerged as one of the top players in Denver. At 23, he is now the average age of the team who got younger in the offseason. Now with Brian Shaw as their head coach, Faried believes the younger players will be ready to carry the team in 2013.

"I think we'll be fine," Faried said to HOOPSWORLD. "Andre made his own decision to go where he wanted to go. More power to him, do his own thing. Right now we're focused on us I think we'll be fine. We have the type of nucleus and team where guys will step up. I'm glad it happened during the offseason and not during the regular season because guys will step up."

Faried is excited to see what guys like Ty Lawson, JaVale McGee and Jordan Hamilton can bring to the court in the coming year. Like Faried, McGee had a breakout season in 2012, while Lawson is on the verge of becoming a star in his own right.

In his second season in the NBA, Faried made use of his increased time on the court putting up 11.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, averaging 28.1 minutes a night. Known for his rebounding skills and ability to manage the fast break, Faried spent most of the offseason training with NBA great Hakeem Olajuwon to better his skills in the post and his jump shot.

"I get to work on some of the moves I learned from Hakeem [Olajuwon] that I've been harnessing and keeping as a nugget just in case a time does come, it's going to be fun to see how that reacts especially with JaVale, me and him both went to the camp. It's going to be fun to use it during the game and implement what we learned," Faried said.

It is players like McGee, Lawson and Faried that will be responsible for making up for the personnel losses during the offseason. Shaw comes to team after being an assistant to the Indiana Pacers. He was one of the most sought-after potential head coaches. If Faried is right, the Nuggets could emerge as a team to really contend next season.

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