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The Downbeat #2007 - Derrick Favors, money, and more

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Five stories to get you ready for today!

NBA: Preseason-Utah Jazz at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA season is starting soon, and the Utah Jazz have only one more preseason game before the games start to count. We look at D-Favs, the other power forwards, and the big picture. And, yeah, the big picture for the NBA avoiding the next Lockout.

First of all, the Utah Jazz just posted this, a larger than life version of Derrick Favors on the side of the Aunt Viv:

Second, where’s his extension, tho? I think Eric Lilly said it best late last night:

Because the Utah Jazz are under the cap, and perpetually so, they have an opportunity to even do something like this. And they should. To quote from the piece Eric points out, this one from Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders fame, it’s clear that:

Favors, who just completed his sixth season, signed a $48 million four-year extension on October 19, 2013. The Jazz project to have between $22.8 and $34.5 million in cap space this summer.

Favors’ deal can be re-worked in October, where his maximum salary projects to be $21.6 million — almost as much as the forward/center is scheduled to earn over the next two seasons ($11.1 million and $12.0 million).

A one-year bump would help the Jazz reach the floor. Favors gets a sizable jump in pay for 2016-17, after which Utah can reduce his salary by 40 percent, down to $12.9 million for 2017-18 — almost a million more than he’s currently contracted to earn.

From there, Utah can add on up to two more seasons, either climbing or decreasing by approximately $971,000 a season. If Favors is willing to take an immediate jump in pay, in return, he can help his team down the road, with a salary as low as $11 million through 2019-20 (perhaps with a player option on the final year).

The Jazz would reach or near the salary floor, while locking an important part of their core for an additional season or two at a discounted rate.

Utah can choose to max out Favors now on a four-year deal, $96 million contract — but that nay not be the best use of their financial flexibility. The 24-year old Favors is already locked in on a contract that, forgive the pun, clearly favors his team.

Eric Pincus, Basketball Insiders, 2016

This is important because the Jazz do have the space to spend on their own players, and that Gordon Hayward will be a max player this off-season, and it’s likely that Rudy Gobert is going to be one too — whenever the Jazz get HIS deal done. With younger guys on rookie contracts still (Rodney Hood, Dante Exum, Trey Lyles) managing the cap is going to be a more difficult problem the farther ahead the Jazz go.

Which is why locking Favors in right now is really the first step.

The other step is that today, well, the NBA Player’s Association and the Owners are going to try to hammer out a new CBA — meaning avoiding waiting till the last minute to do it, and also hopefully avoiding the next lockout.

Via ESPN’s Ian Begley and Dave McMenamin:

The current collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and the NBAPA runs through June 2021, with both sides holding the right until Dec. 15 to express an intent to opt out in 2017.

But NBA commissioner Adam Silver said last week that he expects the parties to come to terms on a new CBA before the opt-out deadline.

"Both sides have been very engaged and eager to get a deal done," Silver said.

Speaking in China last week ahead of the 10th annual Global Games, Silver revealed that he spoke to Roberts during a recent league visit to Spain and said he would continue to pursue a fast resolution with the Players Association that avoids a lockout or any loss of games.

Negotiations on the last CBA led to a five-month work stoppage that lasted until December 2011 and shortened the 2011-12 season by 16 games, marking only the second time in league history that a labor impasse led to a reduced schedule.

With the league in a healthy state and money flowing into the game at unprecedented levels, there is strong motivation on all sides to avoid a work stoppage this time around.

Ian Begley and Dave McMenamin, ESPN, 2016

It seems like everyone is positive that things will get done. I guess it’s easier to negotiate with younger players than the old die hards of previous eras (no Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, etc)? I don’t know what that says, but I’ve been absolutely FLOORED by the actions of one superstar, big market player . . . none other than the New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony.

"We don't want to strike and they don't want to strike," New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, who is on the union's executive committee, said earlier this week. "So the best thing to do is really figure it out sooner rather than later.

"We want to try to get something done. I think the NBA and the owners are very receptive to that, and we are, too. I think [in the 2011 negotiation] we were so far away from each other. You can feel the difference, you can see the difference, you can see the reaction, you can see the contact we're having, the information that's being sent on both sides. I think we're closer to getting something done. Hopefully it'll get done soon."

No, not because of THOSE comments, but because of these:

I can’t believe I agree with Melo here. (Wait, and I one of Melo’s People of Utah, now?) He speaks specifically about legitimizing the NBADL and using it as a development tool the same way that the MLB or various Soccer franchises do.

Anthony says he wants to create more jobs for younger players, and wants every team to have an affiliate. Currently, there are 22 NBA D-League teams, up from 19 last season.

The only teams without a D-League affiliate are the Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Clippers, Washington Wizards and the Portland Trail Blazers.

"If I had it my way, I'd rebrand the whole D-League," Anthony told ESPN. "I'd rebrand it so it's not seen as a punishment."

Anthony is the vice president of the National Basketball Players Association and is also advocating for the use of two-way contracts, which would allow players to play for both NBA and D-League teams.

The union has until Dec. 15 to opt out of the current CBA, and it has been reported that both sides could agree to a new deal as early as the end of this month.

"I'm a big advocate of developing our own players. If you look at soccer, for example, a lot of those clubs have top-notch academies," Anthony said. "We've got to keep our players here. We don't want them to have to go overseas."

Scooby Axson, Sports Illustrated, 2016

I’m all about all of this. Remove the D-League stigma. Make more jobs. Keep more Americans working in America, getting paid in America, using that money in America and making sure it stays in this economy. There’s no good reason why someone who obviously had talent like Kevin Murphy would have to LEAVE the Jazz franchise (and Idaho Stampede) to go play overseas - - - while those same seasons the Jazz have injuries at wing and needed scoring, but had no rights to him anymore.

For a team right now that holds the rights to Marcus Paige, Tyrone Wallace, and others including Jazz team member Joel Bolomboy, it makes complete sense to better integrate the NBA and it’s own Development league. Carmelo is right.

Today we find out big things about the Jazz, are they are 4-2 team or a 5-1 team in the NBA Preseason. I guess record doesn’t matter, but bragging rights do. I honestly do worry about the Portland Trail Blazers. They had ‘our’ number last year, and seem to be not letting up this year. They were a playoff team in 2015-16, and they are going to be an obstacle if/when these two meet again when the games matter.

Winning TONIGHT could be nice for us fans. But also for the players to know that Portland can be beaten. Historically, that’s not always been the case.

Of course, a LOT of my early Jazz life surrounds hating Portland and the Golden State Warriors, in addition to the normal animosity we all share that’s directed towards the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, and Chicago Bulls. These are our rivals, by my count. (The San Antonio Spurs used to be a rival, but diplomatic marriage has changed that.)

How are the Jazz placed without Derrick Favors? This was a throw-away line in the last downbeat . . . but with Boris Diaw, Trey Lyles, and Joel Bolomboy all looking competent, I’d say that the team is looking good in the paint. For more on Diaw, well, dude gets magazine covers:

These tweets are basically a signal boost for print mags vs. web mags. The summary of this edition shows that they go into USA and European ball, and among the topics, delve into the whole banning of Enes Kanter from Turkey’s programs. But as for the actual Boris stuff:

Basketball honors the captain of the France team: Boris Diaw. In a great interview, the charismatic "Babac", usually so discreet, is revealed: his passions for travel, photography, amazing atmosphere that prevailed at Spurs, Manu Ginobili with his friendship, not forgetting the Blues.

You can pick up the magazine in stores, you know, if you are in France. At times I worry about Diaw’s focus, but he should be allowed to be a man for all seasons during the off-season. As for Lyles? Well . . . he seems a little bit more grounded right now.

What about our rookie Joel? He’s been busy too — even though he didn’t have to do that rural Jazz camp trip this off-season:

Also of note, Shelvin Mack (Mack Ops) was there, no doubt shooting the ball every time he touched it. Boris, Trey, and Joel together aren’t what Derrick is. But on the other hand, the three bring things that Derrick doesn’t, passing, shooting, and above average athleticism. They’re just not one player together, which is why the Jazz DO need to extend Favors asap.

Seriously? $15. You can’t beat that.

Eff the Los Angeles Lakers.