The Jazz and Derrick Favors are unlikely to renegotiate and extend the big man’s contract before Tuesday’s deadline, Favors’ agent tells Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). Assuming his contract is unchanged this week, Favors will remain on track to reach unrestricted free agency in 2018.
There are only about two dozen NBA veterans currently eligible for contract extensions, since the new Collective Bargaining Agreement won’t take effect until July and the old CBA is fairly restrictive on extensions. Of those veterans eligible for an extension, fewer still are eligible to have their contracts renegotiated. However, Favors and teammate George Hill are intriguing renegotiation candidates due to Utah’s salary cap situation.
Generally speaking, players are limited to small raises on veteran extensions, which would dissuade guys like Favors ($11.05MM salary) and Hill ($8MM salary) from working out a new deal early. However, teams below the cap have the option to give a player an immediate raise using cap room, allowing for a more lucrative extension. And as we noted on Saturday, no NBA team is further below the cap in 2016/17 than the Jazz, who have about $13.64MM in cap room. So if Utah wanted to extend either Favors or Hill, the team could use that leftover cap space to bump one of the two up to a near-max salary, and tack on extra years from there.
The deadline for teams to complete contract renegotiations is February 28, so the clock is ticking for the Jazz and their extension candidates. For Favors, at least, it looks like such a deal probably isn’t in the cards. It’s possible that Utah is focused on Hill instead, but I’d expect the veteran point guard to want to explore the open market now that he’s so close to free agency — while Favors has an additional year left on his contract, Hill’s deal expires at season’s end.