Last season the buzzword in Utah was continuity. This season the buzzword will be change. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Derrick Favors is approaching this free agency period as though he will become a free agent himself.
Utah Jazz forward/center Derrick Favors will enter the free-agency period fielding calls from interested teams as if he will be an unrestricted free agent, agent Wallace Prather told The Athletic. Favors, who has a July 6 date on his $17M contract guarantee for 2019-20, will have a robust market as a free agent with several teams pursuing big men. In 76 games last season, Favors averaged 11.8 points and 7.4 rebounds. He has been a critical part of Utah’s rise into a perennial playoff contender.
What does this mean for Utah?
As of right now, we already now via Tony Jones of the Athletic that Derrick Favors staying with the Utah Jazz is not a lock. Utah saw their limitations put out there for the world to see during the NBA Playoffs. Those limitations were a lack of outside shooting and another premier playmaker in the backcourt. So far the Utah Jazz have brought in a premier playmaker in Mike Conley, now the outside shooting comes next.
Derrick Favors has been integral for Utah’s success in the playoffs, but with his $17M contract on the books, Utah is extremely limited with who they can sign as far as shooting is concerned. Utah has to be weighing the pros and cons of additional depth when it comes to shotmakers outside and keeping Derrick Favors as a backup big.
If Derrick Favors does become available, it is rumored that the Los Angeles Lakers with LeBron James and Anthony Davis would love to have him.
Utah has already been linked to Bobby Portis who shot above 40% from three last year, and Tobias Harris hasn’t been completely ruled out of coming to Utah—strangely enough. Utah wants a stretch four, but they won’t make that move unless they can guarantee themselves that they’ll be better.
One big thing with this is any rational person would be doing the same thing Derrick Favors is doing. Even if Favors and his camp feel that there’s a strong chance of returning to Utah, they would still do their due diligence to make sure there’s a good landing spot should plans change.
We will all find out when free agency begins on June 30th at 4:00PM MT.