SATURDAY, 11:30am: The Jazz confirmed the extension via press release.
FRIDAY, 9:18pm: The deal doesn’t contain any options, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM.com.
8:11pm: The Jazz and Derrick Favors have agreed to a lucrative four-year extension to his rookie scale contract, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The base salary totals more than $49MM, and there are incentives that could carry the package well over $50MM, according to Wojnarowski. The deal could be a bargain, depending on the outcome of those incentives, since Woj hears from executives around the league that several teams would give him a $13MM annual salary if he were to hit restricted free agency next summer. Instead, it looks like the Wallace Prather client will be in Utah for quite some time, as the extension is set to run through 2017/18.
The Jazz placed a high value on Favors’ desire to remain with the team, as Wojnarowski writes. He becomes the fifth eligible player to strike a deal for a rookie scale extension this offseason, joining DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George, Larry Sanders and John Wall. Favors and Sanders are the only ones of that group to agree to annual salaries of less than the maximum, as the Bucks gave Sanders four years and $44MM. Utah’s deal for Favors resembles the extension Serge Ibaka and the Thunder signed last year. Ibaka’s getting $49.4MM in base salary, and he can earn an additional $100K each year in performance incentives that he’s likely to meet.
The 22-year-old, 6’10” Favors came to Utah in the middle of his rookie year as part of the Deron Williams trade after the Nets drafted him third overall in 2010. He’s yet to average 10 points per game in any NBA season, but he’s seen little playing time behind Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap in Utah. That figures to change this season, as both Jefferson and Millsap are gone, and Favors will have the chance to demonstrate whether his career per-36-minute rebounding average of 10.6 will hold up in starter’s minutes. He’s also played stellar defense, blocking 2.6 shots per 36 minutes in 2012/13.
My prediction in March of a four-year, $48MM extension for Favors was a lot closer to the mark than the revised view I took when I examined his extension candidacy in August and figured the two sides might do a deal for between $42MM and $44MM. Utah only has about $4.5MM in guaranteed money on the books for 2014/15, not including likely option pickups for Enes Kanter and Alec Burks, so this represents the first major commitment for the team after this summer’s retooling. There’s plenty of room for an extension to Gordon Hayward, the team’s other player entering the final season of a rookie scale contract, and I could see him striking a four-year, $40MM deal, as I wrote when I looked at his case for an extension. The team has been in negotiations with Favors and Hayward since August.