The Nuggets plan to make Kenneth Faried a long-term fixture of their future by opening contract extension talks with the power forward and his agent, Thad Foucher, this summer.

"We'll talk to his representation," Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly told the Post. " I think Kenneth is happy here. I think he's really embraced what (Coach) Brian (Shaw) is trying to instill. Those are the type of guys that deserve to get paid."

Faried is coming off his best season, during which he averaged a career-high 13.7 points and 8.6 rebounds while shooting 54.5 percent from the field - eighth best in the NBA.

But it was his post-All Star break performance that helped solidify him as a key cog in the team's future. After the All-Star game he averaged a team-high 18.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. The Nuggets were 17-10 in games in which he recorded a double-double.

Shaw was adamant after the season that he wanted Faried back on the team. Faried's name came up in trade rumors at various times during the season.

"I definitely want to have him back and expect to have him back," Shaw said.

Faried is going into the final year of his rookie-scale contract, which will pay him $2.2 million next season. Contract extension talks cannot begin until the July moratorium ends, and they can continue through Oct. 31.