In Derrick Favors and reigning Kia Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, the Utah Jazz boast one of the most defensive-minded frontlines in the NBA. In fact, the Jazz outscored their opponents by 7.2 points per 100 possessions with the two bigs on the floor together, giving Utah a rim-protecting big man on the court at any time.
Favors is an unrestricted free agent this summer and is one of the better big men available on the open market. He will turn 28 at the start of next season and has logged eight seasons, playing a key role in Utah's playoff runs in 2016-17 and '17-18. He recently spoke with Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune and said he wants to stick with Utah. However, he is also open to seeing what offers are on the open market, too:
Publicly and privately, he and the Jazz have made peace with one another. The Jazz want him back in the fold next season as he enters his prime years. And Favors wants to be back with the Jazz.
“The communication has been good,” Favors told The Tribune this week. “I’m pretty sure me and my agent [Wallace Prather] will get a meeting set up, and we’ll figure some things out. I know they want me back, and I want to come back. But, it’s a business and a numbers game, so we’ll have to see.”
Favors wants to test his worth on the market, see what opportunity is out there, and see what money is available. In what is shaping up to be a tight market for big men, Favors’ best play might be to sign a one-year deal with the Jazz and test the market again in 2019.
Favors knows his fate on the market could be tied to Los Angeles Clippers’ big man DeAndre Jordan, who may opt out of the final season of his deal and become a free agent. Teams needing a big man will likely turn to Jordan first before speaking with Favors.
Multiple teams figure have interest in him, but that interest may not be clear on July 1. So, Favors’ dip into unrestricted free agency could be a mixed bag.
Favors has spent the offseason trying to improve on his 3-point shot, particularly from the corners, Jones reports. Additionally, the rough relationship Favors had with the team a year ago has improved as Favors and Jazz coach Quin Snyder have had conversations since the season ended.
* * *