Team USA's involvement in the 2014 FIBA World Cup came in for its fair share of criticism this summer with many claiming the ease with which the US won the gold medal showed the tournament up as a pointless event for all involved.
Try telling that to Kenneth Faried today however after the power forward secured a new $60 million extension with the Denver Nuggets on the back of a breakout performance for the national team.
Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news Monday, and although there is some confusion over whether it is a five or four year deal for Faried, it is believed that the player will make "no less than "$52 over the life of the contract."
That is certainly far more than he may have expected prior to his dominating performances over in Spain this summer.
The latest update from Wojnarowski notes that NBA rules could mean the deal drops down to four rather than five years. This is because the five-year structure may not be allowed under the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement.
World Cup role
There is no doubt as to the value added to the deal thanks to the player's role for Team USA.
As one of the team's top three or four players in Spain, Faried dominated throughout the tournament as a bonafide starter with his rebounding skills and excellent energy proving no match for those who found themselves in his way of the Manimal.
Over the nine game run to the gold medal, Kenneth Faried averaged 12.2 points (just 0.1 less than Anthony Davis and 0.5 less than Kyle Thompson), whilst boasting a team high 7.7 average rebounds per game.
He was also named in the All-Tournament Team.
Faried has seen his influence (and stats) improve year on year since debuting for the Nuggets in 2011.
Last season saw the big man average a career-best 13.7 points and 1.2 assists per game whilst continuing to prove a vital rebounding talent for the Nuggets as the franchise finished with a disappointing 36-46 record - good enough for 11th in West.
And coming off the back of his breakout summer it certainly makes sense for the Nuggets to secure him onto a longer-term deal now.
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