Longtime Jazz reserve big man Derrick Favors spoke extensively with Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune about his past and sunny new future with Utah, noting that he wasn’t surprised when Utah sent him to the Pelicans for future draft equity during the 2019 offseason to clear cap space for incoming point guard Mike Conley‘s contract.
“I wanted to be here,” Favors said. “I wanted to stay. I thought I was going to stay. But it was because of the money, the business side.”
The Jazz could have declined their $18MM team option on Favors for the 2019/20 season, but the Pelicans were happy to pay that sum in full upon making a deal. “If Utah would have waived me, I would have lost a lot of money, but they ended up trading me, and I’m blessed and thankful that New Orleans was willing to pick up that option for me,” Favors noted.
Favors’ Pelicans teammates raved about his fit within the club’s locker room and on the court. “Nothing but respect for D-Fav,” New Orleans guard Lonzo Ball said. “We know he did all the little things that we needed to win games.”
Favors was excited to get another opportunity in the 2020 offseason with the Jazz, who were all business in their recruitment.
“They literally just said, ‘Hey, you want to come back? We want you, here’s what we’re offering. Do you want to take it or not?’ It kinda felt like that!” Favors noted. “I didn’t want to waste my time or waste an opportunity… and I knew with Utah that they had other guys that they wanted to go after if I didn’t commit, so I didn’t want to waste Utah’s time.”
There’s more out of the Northwest Division:
- The Thunder will likely receive inquiries on just about every player on their roster, as team president Sam Presti looks to acquire even more future draft picks, but Joe Mussatto of the Oklahoman thinks veteran role players like George Hill, Al Horford, and Mike Muscala could be next in line to be dealt.
- Jazz reserve guard Jordan Clarkson, the current favorite for 2021 Sixth Man of the Year honors at present, has taken a massive stride in his scoring output — but the growth of his passing deserves recognition, too, writes Sarah Todd of The Deseret News. “It’s just another growth part of my game that I’m trying to keep improving on,” Clarkson said.
- After a rough start to the 2020/21 season, Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio has turned things around in the month of March, so much so that the 30-year-old vet has become a potential trade chip for a Minnesota team that now may not want to deal him away as the deadline looms, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. A reinvigorated Rubio seems to have developed great chemistry with No. 1 2020 draft pick Anthony Edwards and (former No. 1 draft pick) Karl-Anthony Towns.