The Jazz and Derrick Favors have mutual interest in a reunion, but that doesn’t mean it’s a sure thing, writes Tony Jones of The Athletic. Favors spent most of the past decade in Utah before being traded to New Orleans last summer to clear cap room so the Jazz could sign Bojan Bogdanovic. Favors averaged 9.0 points and 9.8 rebounds this season as the Pelicans‘ starting center.
The 29-year-old is willing to accept a reserve role behind Rudy Gobert, Jones adds, and would likely sign for the mid-level exception. However, the Jazz must decide if that’s the wisest use of their MLE, which is their best hope for adding another wing who can hit 3-pointers and play defense. That need was evident in the playoffs, when Utah didn’t have anyone who could control Denver’s Jamal Murray.
“We lost some defensive integrity, some activity, some deflections,” executive VP of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey recently told reporters, including Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune, in recapping the season. “… Anybody who has defensive integrity at their position, can be an active, athletic defender, will be someone that would be of interest to us, especially if they don’t compromise the spacing.”
There’s more Jazz news to pass along:
- Utah could be looking at a lot of changes outside of its rotation, Jones notes in the same story. Mike Conley is almost certain to opt in for next season at $34.5MM, and Jones believes free agent guard Jordan Clarkson is too valuable to let go. However, although Emmanuel Mudiay was a pleasant surprise, the Jazz don’t own his Bird rights, and Miye Oni, Nigel Williams-Goss and Rayjon Tucker all have contracts that aren’t fully guaranteed for next season. Utah may be stuck with Ed Davis‘ $5MM contract after he suffered a knee injury during the restart.
- Sources tell Jones that Utah is willing to buy a second-round pick if the right opportunity arises. The Jazz own the 23rd choice in the first round, but their second-rounder belongs to the Warriors. Utah is hoping to add a young talent who can become part of the rotation, so Jones expects the team to hang onto its first-round selection.
- The Jazz are counting on improvement from young players who spent a lot of this season in the G League, such as Juwan Morgan, Jarrell Brantley and Oni, according to Ryan McDonald of The Deseret News. “We’ll see how they come back once they get away and hopefully improve and reflect,” Lindsey said. “We had a very successful G League season and we think a lot of those guys can provide internal solutions.”