Jazz big man Derrick Favors will return to the court on Wednesday after missing the last 12 games of action due to a left knee injury, league sources told Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. Although Favors won’t get a ton of playing time, the Jazz will get another chance to see him play alongside Rudy Gobert, something head coach Quin Snyder wants to see more of.
As Zach Lowe of ESPN.com details, the Jazz face several important decisions on players who are eligible for extensions or will soon reach free agency, so it’s crucial that the team gets as much information as possible about how those players fit together. If possible, the team would also like to see how certain lineups – like ones featuring Favors and Gobert – fare in a playoff series.
“The answer to whether Derrick and Rudy can play together is unequivocally yes,” Snyder said. “The bigger question is in what situations, and how best to maximize every player. On some level, you don’t know. We might find challenges that are hidden to us now.”
Here’s more on the Jazz from Lowe:
- The new CBA is expected to help Utah when it comes to re-signing Gordon Hayward, since the new deal should widen the advantage incumbent teams get (in terms of money and years) for re-signing their own players, says Lowe. Still, the Jazz need to show progress this year to convince Hayward they’re capable of developing into a serious contender. Hayward on his looming free agency: “It comes down to where I can compete for a title. Where I live — that doesn’t affect me. The limelight doesn’t matter to me. I just want to make a run at it.”
- Lowe suggests that “almost everyone with max-level cap room” will at least check in with Hayward’s agent next summer. Lowe adds that the Clippers explored a sign-and-trade for Hayward in 2014, and that Doc Rivers “loves” him, though L.A. won’t have a clear path to max space in 2017.
- The Jazz can extend George Hill now, and doing so would help improve the team’s odds of retaining Hayward, since the two players are close. Still, while Hill is open to listening to any offer from the Jazz, he may wait out Hayward’s decision, Lowe writes.
- The Jazz are hoping to get Alec Burks back in January and see their whole team in action well before the trade deadline, sources tell Lowe. The ESPN scribe identifies Burks as a potential trade candidate, since Utah can’t afford to keep everyone.