Derrick Favors

Rockets Waive Derrick Favors

OCTOBER 17: The Rockets have waived Favors, the team confirmed today. Houston’s roster is now set for the regular season.


OCTOBER 14: The Rockets plan to waive veteran big man Derrick Favors, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (Twitter link).

As Charania notes, Houston still needed to make one more cut with 16 players on guaranteed standard contracts. Favors will be the odd man out.

According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link), the Rockets are “huge fans” of Boban Marjanovic, another veteran center who may have been competing with Favors for the last roster spot. Iko says the team holds Marjanovic “in high regard as a locker room presence” and he’s “universally loved by his teammates,” in addition to having situational use as a backup.

The Rockets will be on the hook for all of Favors’ $10,183,800 salary in 2022/23 assuming he goes unclaimed on waivers, which is almost certain to happen. If he’s officially waived today, the 31-year-old will become a free agent on Sunday.

Favors was acquired by the Rockets in an eight-player trade with the Thunder at the end of last month, and all four players Houston acquired will have been waived before the season starts (the Rockets essentially took on extra expiring money this season to land a future second-round pick and received some cash to help offset the salary differences).

The third overall pick of the 2010 draft, Favors has appeared in 790 regular season games (503 starts, 24.3 MPG) with averages of 10.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG and 1.2 BPG while shooting 53.4% from the floor and 66.3% from the foul line. His mobility and production have declined in recent seasons, averaging career-lows of 5.3 PPG and 4.7 RPG in 38 games (18 starts, 16.7 MPG) with the Thunder in ’21/22, but it would be surprising if he doesn’t land with a new team soon after becoming a free agent.

Western Notes: Hart, Alvarado, Rockets, Jazz

The Trail Blazers have made a decision on their starting small forward job, according to Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian, who hears from a source that Josh Hart has won the training camp competition.

Hart had been competing with Nassir Little and Justise Winslow for the right to start at the three for Portland this season, alongside a backcourt of Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons and a frontcourt of Jerami Grant and Jusuf Nurkic.

Hart, whom the Blazers acquired in last season’s CJ McCollum blockbuster, has earned praise from head coach Chauncey Billups for his effort on defense and his basketball IQ, as Fentress notes. The veteran swingman is entering a potential contract year — his 2023/24 salary is currently non-guaranteed and he also has the ability to opt out of his deal after the season.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Second-year Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado has long admired Tony Parker‘s game and got the chance to work with the former Spurs star this offseason, meeting Parker at the Las Vegas Summer League and then traveling to San Antonio to train with him. “Actually, I (direct messaged) him and said, ‘I’m a big fan of you,'” Alvarado said, per Christian Clark of NOLA.com. “‘Is there any chance me and you can get in the gym this summer? I would love that.’ He replied right away.”
  • Kelly Iko of The Athletic takes a look at where things stand with the Rockets‘ rotation, noting that Tari Eason is making a strong case for regular playing time, while Bruno Fernando appears to have passed Usman Garuba on the depth chart at center. Iko also isn’t sure that any of the players acquired in last week’s trade with Oklahoma City (Derrick Favors, Theo Maledon, and Maurice Harkless) will make the regular season roster.
  • Given how significantly they overhauled their roster this offseason, the Jazz will likely need more than just a few preseason games to develop a real sense of chemistry, Sarah Todd of The Deseret News. “It’s going to take us a while to get used to everyone and learn everyone,” Jordan Clarkson said. “We’re still just getting the basics down. We’re not even at the point of knowing guys’ spots and individual games.”

Thunder, Rockets Complete Eight-Player Trade

SEPTEMBER 30: Both teams have announced that the trade is now official. However, the terms of the deal are slightly different than was previously reported.

Instead of Atlanta’s protected 2025 second-round pick, the Rockets will receive a 2026 second-rounder from Oklahoma City. That pick will be the second-most favorable of the Thunder’s, Mavericks’, and Sixers’ 2026 second-round picks. Houston is also receiving cash considerations in the deal.


SEPTEMBER 29, 9:15pm: The Rockets intend to waive Jerome, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Feigen adds that Favors and Maledon are considered the most likely among Houston’s new additions to claim spots on the 15-man regular season roster.


SEPTEMBER 29, 8:13pm: The Thunder have agreed to send center/power forward Derrick Favors, shooting guard Ty Jerome, forward Maurice Harkless, point guard Theo Maledon and the Hawks’ 2025 second-round draft pick (top-40 protected) to the Rockets in exchange for athletic swingman David Nwaba, wing Sterling Brown, point guard Trey Burke and power forward Marquese Chriss, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

As Wojnarowski observes, Oklahoma City will create two trade exceptions in the deal. In pure salary terms, the exchange will help the Thunder get $10MM under the league’s punitive luxury tax cap threshold. Wojnarowski notes that Favors in particular is tradable among the returning players arriving in Houston, as a solid backup big man on an expiring $10.2MM salary.

The 6’9″ Favors, 31, spent most of the last decade as a key role player with several good playoff-bound Jazz teams. Last year with the Thunder, he appeared in just 39 games, averaging 5.3 PPG on 51.6% shooting, plus 4.7 RPG, across 16.7 MPG.

Jerome and Maledon are both young players on modest contracts with remaining potential upside. Harkless, like Favors, is a veteran on an expiring deal.

On the Rockets’ side of the transaction, Houston is acquiring a future second-round draft pick in exchange for taking on some added salary, as Woj details.

According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic (via Twitter) if that Hawks 2025 second-rounder lands in the top 40 and is protected, Houston will instead receive the second-best of the Thunder’s, Mavericks’, and Sixers’ 2026 second-round picks.

Given that No. 2 draft pick Chet Holmgren has been ruled out for the year with a Lisfranc injury in his right foot, and with the best player in this new trade being sent away from the team, it appears the Thunder are once again prioritizing a year of youthful development, as they look to the 2023 draft lottery to build out their impressive young roster.

Oklahoma City added four rookies in the 2022 draft, including two additional lottery picks beyond Holmgren. The Thunder have been in full-on rebuild mode since the end of the 2019/20 season, winning a total of 46 games over the last two years.

Houston has also been in the asset-collection and draft lottery-targeting phase of its journey since 2020. The team went 37-127 from 2020-22. This year, the Rockets drafted intriguing rookie power forward Jabari Smith with the third pick out of Auburn. They also made two other selections in the first round.

It appears unlikely that every player in this deal will be with their new clubs when the regular season opens. Bobby Marks of ESPN (via Twitter) notes that both teams will still have 18 guaranteed contracts on their books following this deal. Per league rules, they’ll each need to get down to 15 players by October 17.

Northwest Notes: Favors, Timberwolves, Hardy, Lillard

Derrick Favors‘ future with the Thunder is very much up in the air heading into training camp, according to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman.

Oklahoma City is three standard contracts over the limit but Favors’ expiring deal may be the most compelling reason he’ll make the 15-man roster. His $10,183,800 cap hit could prove useful in a trade.

He’s still a serviceable center and positive influence in the locker room as well, two other compelling reasons to keep him around, Mussatto adds.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • While some people wonder how Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert will fit together, the Timberwolves’ biggest issues will likely be a lack of knockdown shooters and lead ball-handlers, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes. Minnesota is actually quite deep, despite all the bodies the team swapped to acquire Gobert, and Krawczynski breaks down each position in this in-depth piece.
  • The Jazz are undergoing an extensive rebuild and new head coach Will Hardy will have to earn the confidence of his players to get through it, Sarah Todd of the Deseret News writes. The front office showed its confidence in Hardy by giving him a five-year contract, knowing developmental wins will be more important than actual victories.
  • While Trail Blazers’ star Damian Lillard had already made tens of millions of dollars playing basketball, the generational wealth he’ll accumulate with the two-year, super-max extension he signed this summer was humbling, he told Marc J. Spears of Andscape.com. “Me and [my wife] talked about it. It’s a big deal. When I talked to [agent Aaron Goodwin] and everybody I talked to about it, it was a big deal. I was like, ‘What am I supposed to do? Post something on Instagram saying something crazy?’ I don’t know what I was supposed to do. It was a big deal.”

Northwest Notes: Sexton, Jazz Vets, Jokic, Favors

Details have emerged on the new contract signed by combo guard Collin Sexton, a key return piece from the Jazz‘s trade of All-Star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell. According to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link), Sexton agreed to a four-year, $70.95MM guaranteed deal as part of a sign-and-trade with the team that drafted him in the 2018 lottery, the Cavaliers.

Marks reveals that Sexton will earn $16.5MM during the 2022/23 season, with 5% salary bumps in each subsequent season, ending in an $18.975MM cap hit in 2025/26. Marks notes that the deal includes $500K in annual unlikely incentives — if all were reached, the 6’1″ guard would earn a total of $72.95MM over four years.

Sexton, still just 23, missed all but 11 games in 2021/22, after which control of the Cavaliers’ offense landed primarily at the feet of eventual 2022 All-Star point guard Darius Garland. In his 11 healthy games, all starts, Sexton averaged 16.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.1 APG and 0.9 SPG.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports tweets that he is skeptical of the Nuggets being able to land any Jazz veterans. Utah appears to be open to trading all of the older players on its roster for future draft picks and younger pieces, having already made four such deals thus far this offseason, including of its two 2022 All-Stars, Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. Wind notes that, among Utah’s older players, jump-shooting power forward Bojan Bogdanovic would help Denver the most.
  • Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, the reigning two-time NBA MVP, is looking to tear it up overseas in EuroBasket for the Serbian national team, writes Mike Singer of the Denver Post. Jokic, along with fellow All-NBA European stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic, is set to play five group stage games before even getting to elimination rounds.
  • Following the Jazz’s aforementioned decision to enact a roster teardown and accrue future assets to kick off a rebuild, it seems likely that the heavily protected 2024 first-round draft pick included as part of last year’s trade of bench big man Derrick Favors from Utah to the Thunder will remain with Utah, writes Joe Mussatto of the Oklahoman. The selection is top-1o protected from 2024-25, and then top-eight protected through 2026. If it lands in its protected range for all three years, it would stay with the Jazz and the Thunder wouldn’t get anything.

Thunder’s Derrick Favors Picks Up 2022/23 Player Option

Thunder center Derrick Favors has officially exercised his player option for the 2022/23 season, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The move had been expected, with Favors telling reporters after Oklahoma City’s season ended last month that he planned to opt in. The $10.18MM option will pay him more next season than he could realistically expect to earn if he turned it down and sought a new contract as a free agent.

Favors, who was traded from Utah to Oklahoma City last July, didn’t play a ton for his new team in 2021/22, averaging a modest 16.7 minutes per game in 39 appearances. His season came to an early end due to a back issue.

When he did play, Favors averaged 5.3 PPG and 4.7 RPG. Although he’s still a solid rebounder and can score around the basket, the 30-year-old didn’t have much of a role on a rebuilding Thunder team that was more focused on developing its young players.

Now that he’s on an expiring contract and presumably isn’t in OKC’s long-term plans, Favors should be viewed as a trade candidate this offseason. However, it doesn’t sound like he’d be opposed to returning to the Thunder.

Favors recently said that playing with the young club brought back the “joy of playing basketball and not worrying about the business part,” and told the media during his exit interview that he expected to be back with the Thunder next season.

We’re tracking all of this year’s player option decisions right here.

Northwest Notes: Favors, Barton, McLemore, Gobert, Mitchell

At age 30, Derrick Favors may seem out of place on a rebuilding team, but he said spending this season with the Thunder helped him enjoy the game again, writes Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. Favors, who was acquired from the Jazz in a salary dump trade last summer, only played 39 games and sat out the final month of the season with back soreness, but he still says the experience was important.

“It brought back that fun,” Favors said, “that joy of playing basketball and not worrying about the business part, not worrying about personal life stuff, just having fun and … feeling that energy of being around 19-, 20-, 21-year-olds.”

Favors has already indicated that he will pick up his option for next season, which is worth $10.18MM, much more than he would make in free agency. However, that doesn’t guarantee he’ll back. Mussatto expects Oklahoma City to explore a trade this summer and possibly waive Favors to open a roster spot for one of its four picks in this year’s draft. However, Favors said at his exit interview that he “expects to be back.”

“I’m glad I’m here,” he said. “It opened my eyes to a lot of things. I just enjoy watching these young guys. I enjoy watching them come out and improve every game. I enjoy talking to (coach) Mark (Daigneault), and I enjoy being in this atmosphere.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Nuggets might have to consider trading Will Barton this offseason to help upgrade their defense, suggests Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Barton, who has spent eight years with the team, has an expiring $14MM contract for next season and Denver may need a stronger defensive guard to pair with Jamal Murray as he returns from his ACL injury. Singer identifies Monte Morris and JaMychal Green as other players who might be moved.
  • The Trail Blazers could be tempted to re-sign Ben McLemore to serve as a veteran shooter, according to Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. McLemore averaged 10.2 points per game and connected at 36.2% from three-point range after signing with Portland last offseason, and he can provide valuable roster depth for a team that hopes to bounce back next season.
  • It’s time for the Jazz to break up the combination of Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, argues Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports, who examines the potential trade market for each player.

Derrick Favors Plans To Pick Up Player Option

Thunder big man Derrick Favors expects to exercise his player option for 2022/23 and to be back in Oklahoma City next season, he said today (Twitter link via Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman).

The three-year deal Favors signed with Utah in 2020 included two guaranteed years and a $10.18MM option for ’22/23. The veteran center was traded from the Jazz to the Thunder during the 2021 offseason and didn’t play a ton for his new team this season, averaging a modest 16.7 minutes per game in 39 appearances. His season came to an early end due to a back issue.

Favors averaged 5.3 PPG and 4.7 RPG in his part-time role for Oklahoma City in 2021/22. Although he’s still a solid rebounder and can score around the basket, the 30-year-old didn’t have much of a role on a rebuilding Thunder team that was more focused on developing its young players.

Once he officially picks up his player option, Favors should be viewed as a trade candidate, since he’ll be on an expiring deal and likely isn’t part of OKC’s long-term plans. However, his $10MM+ salary may be more than some teams are comfortable paying a backup center.

Thunder’s Derrick Favors Done For Season

Speaking on Thursday to reporters, including Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (Twitter link), Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault said that veteran center Derrick Favors will miss the remainder of the season with lower back soreness. Favors hasn’t played since February 24.

Favors, 30, holds a player option for 2022/23 worth $10,183,800, which he’s almost certain to pick up after having the worst season of his 12-year career. Favors averaged career-lows of 5.3 points and 4.7 rebounds this season in 39 games with the Thunder (16.7 minutes per night).

While Favors’ per-minute averages are still decent, he’s been trending downward the past few seasons.

Daigneault also said that Kenrich Williams is doubtful to return to action this year as he continues to deal with a sprained knee. He has been sidelined even longer than Favors, since February 14.

Williams, 27, has emerged as a valuable three-and-D role player over the past couple seasons with OKC, averaging a combined 7.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists on .501/.391/.559 shooting in 115 games (21.7 minutes). His $2MM salary for next season is non-guaranteed.

The tanking Thunder currently hold a 22-54 record, which is the fourth-worst mark in the league according to our reverse standings.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Northwest Division

For the rest of the regular season and postseason, Hoops Rumors is taking a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents this offseason. We consider whether their stock is rising or falling due to their performance and other factors. Today, we’re focusing on a handful of Northwest players.


Jusuf Nurkic, C, Trail Blazers

2021/22: $12MM
2022/23: UFA
Stock: Up ⬆️

A lengthy injury absence preceding a player’s free agency typically doesn’t help that player’s stock, but Nurkic’s value is on the rise despite the case of plantar fasciitis that will sideline him for at least four weeks and could end his season.

Prior to his injury, the veteran center was playing his best basketball of the season during a four-game winning streak (21.5 PPG, 14.0 RPG, and 4.3 APG). As a result, it’s safe to assume shutting him down was more about keeping the Blazers’ tanking efforts on track than it was about any long-term health concerns. After all, Portland has had essentially a neutral net rating (-0.1) during Nurkic’s minutes this season, compared to a -11.7 mark when he’s not on the court.

Nurkic looks like a good bet to get a new contract worth at least the $12MM per year he’s currently making — and likely more than that.

Derrick Favors, C, Thunder

2021/22: $9.72MM
2022/23: $10.18MM player option
Stock: Down ⬇️

Favors’ per-minute production hasn’t declined significantly during the last two seasons, but his 15.3 minutes per game in 2020/21 and his 16.7 MPG this season are the two lowest marks of his career. Injuries and DNP-CDs have also limited him to just 39 games so far in ’21/22.

At age 30, Favors should still have plenty left in the tank, and he could reverse the trend of his declining playing time if he ends up in the right situation next season. But he won’t get a contract offer on the open market that exceeds the value of his player option ($10.18MM). I’d expect him to opt in and then try to work with the Thunder on a trade or buyout.

Danuel House, F, Jazz

2021/22: Minimum salary
2022/23: UFA
Stock: Up ⬆️

Once a key three-and-D rotation player in Houston, House saw his numbers dip in 2020/21 and slide even further to start this season, leading to his release. It took him a little time to find a permanent new home following a 10-day deal with the Knicks, but he has hit his stride again in Utah, averaging 6.7 PPG with an impressive .453 3PT% in 18 games (18.8 MPG).

House isn’t the type of player who is a threat to go off for 30 points on a given night (his career high is 23), but his ability to knock down three-pointers and defend multiple positions could be very important for a Utah team hoping to make a deep playoff run. A strong postseason showing would further boost House’s stock entering the summer.

Josh Okogie, G/F, Timberwolves

2021/22: $4.09MM
2022/23: RFA
Stock: Down ⬇️

Okogie has received praise from head coach Chris Finch for his leadership and his attitude, but the former first-round pick is no longer part of the Timberwolves’ regular rotation, having logged just 48 minutes across seven games since the start of February. He has some value on defense, but doesn’t provide enough on offense to warrant consistent minutes.

While Minnesota can technically make Okogie a restricted free agent this offseason, doing so would require a $5.86MM qualifying offer — I expect the team to pass on that QO, letting Okogie become an unrestricted FA.

Jeff Green, F, Nuggets

2021/22: $4.5MM
2022/23: $4.5MM player option
Stock: Up ⬆️

After years of settling for minimum-salary contracts, Green earned a two-year, $9MM commitment from the Nuggets last summer. The veteran forward will turn 36 years old later this year, so he initially seemed like a safe bet to pick up his $4.5MM option for 2022/23. But that’s no longer a given, based on the way he has performed this season.

Stepping into a larger role than anticipated due to Michael Porter Jr.‘s extended absence (and, to a lesser extent, Vlatko Cancar‘s season-ending foot injury), Green has averaged nearly 25 minutes per game in 63 appearances (51 starts) for Denver, scoring 10.5 PPG on 51.4% shooting.

While he has struggled from beyond the three-point line (30.1%), Green has been a crucial contributor this season for a Nuggets team trying to survive without two of its top scorers (Porter and Jamal Murray). It might be enough to justify an offseason opt-out — if he finishes the season strong, Green could potentially land one more multiyear deal.