While not many veteran NBA players qualify for contract extensions, Derrick Favors has been extension-eligible for each of the last two seasons, and came into the 2016/17 campaign hoping to sign a new deal. However, as Favors tells ESPN’s Zach Lowe, he and the Jazz never got close to working out an agreement, despite the fact that Utah had excess cap room to renegotiate his contract.
Unrestricted free agency is fast approaching for Favors, who is earning $12MM in 2017/18 on an expiring deal. Considering the Jazz didn’t show much interest in extending Favors’ contract last season when they had plenty of cap flexibility, it’s probably safe to assume the team won’t make an effort to lock him up to an in-season extension this year either, even though he remains eligible. In fact, though he doesn’t cite any sources, Lowe suggests that Utah is more likely to explore the trade market for the 26-year-old.
According to Lowe, it’s not clear if the Jazz could even extract a low first-round pick or an equivalent young player for Favors at this point. Lowe names the Pistons, Pelicans, Bucks, and Nuggets as teams that might be among the potential fits, but cautions that none of those clubs are likely to give up much for a rental.
Favors’ production has been up and down since the start of the 2016/17 season, though he has played well over the last couple weeks with Rudy Gobert sidelined. Having seen more playing time at center during that stretch, Favors has averaged 15.9 PPG and 8.8 RPG in eight games.