Kenneth Faried’s time with the Nets is over after just 118 minutes on the court.
The Nets announced Saturday they had requested waivers on Faried for a buyout after he had played in only 12 of their first 47 games. He will reportedly sign with the Rockets this week once he clears waivers, unlikely to be claimed because of his $13.8 million expiring contract.
“Just gotta be completely honest, it was more about the other guys playing really well,” coach Kenny Atkinson said Sunday. “I really like Kenneth. Getting hurt in training camp (sore ankle) slowed it down a little, so I didn’t get a great look at him, especially at the four. Because that is where we had open spots, opportunities for him. I just felt more comfortable playing a little smaller.
“But he did everything we asked. He was a great guy. He busted his tail. He was in shape. Just didn’t think he had great opportunity here.”
The 6-foot-8 Faried put up numbers when he got minutes — posting a pair of double-doubles over his past three games. He had 21 points and 10 rebounds against the Bucks, when Rondae Hollis-Jefferson got injured and Ed Davis rested, before adding 13 points and 12 rebounds against the Celtics when the Nets were without Hollis-Jefferson, Joe Harris and DeMarre Carroll.
The 29-year-old Newark native came to the Nets, along with the Nuggets’ 2019 first-round pick and 2020 second-round pick, as part of a salary dump in July.
There have not yet been any discussions about filling the open roster spot, Atkinson said. As for the timing of the buyout, Atkinson deferred to general manager Sean Marks.
One of the reasons Faried struggled to get playing time has been the emergence of rookie Rodions Kurucs, the 6-foot-9 Latvian forward who is averaging 9.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
“It’s just an unbelievable surprise,” Atkinson said. “I don’t think we thought he was going to be ready right now.”
Atkinson said Jared Dudley’s return from a left hamstring strain is not “immediate,” and it won’t come this week. The veteran forward has been out since Jan. 9.
“Starting rehab already, feeling good,” Dudley said.
Allen Crabbe, who has not played since Dec. 12 with a sore right knee, is “trending more positive,” Atkinson said, but is still only doing individual workouts and nothing team-oriented yet.