Derrick Favors

Northwest Notes: Simons, Favors, Beasley, Timberwolves

Anfernee Simons‘ recent play has justified former Blazers executive Neil Olshey’s faith in him, Jason Quick of The Athletic writes. Olshey maintained that Simons was the most talented player he had ever drafted, even though he had also selected Damian Lillard, Blake Griffin and CJ McCollum during his career. A late first-rounder in 2018, Simons has averaged 28.3 PPG and 8.2 APG in his last six games. Simons will be a restricted free agent this summer.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Thunder big man Derrick Favors shrugs off the trade rumors surrounding him, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman tweets. “I think every year I’ve been in the league, my name’s been in trade rumors … I’m pretty much used to it,” he said. “I don’t really pay attention to it. I try to control what I can control. I try to, like coach says, keep my feet grounded where I’m at.” Favors, who has appeared in 31 games with Oklahoma City this season, holds a $10.18MM player option on his contract for next season.
  • Malik Beasley‘s subpar perimeter shooting is hampering the Timberwolves offense and making him more difficult to trade before next month’s deadline, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic opines. Beasley is averaging 12.3 PPG while shooting a career-low 37.3% from the field. Beasley is signed through the 2023/24 season, though the final year is a team option.
  • On that same topic, the Timberwolves are in a tricky spot regarding the trade deadline, Michael Rand of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. They are in the playoff hunt, hovering around the .500 mark, and could be buyers if they want to enhance their chances of a postseason berth. They could just as well trade veterans such as Patrick Beverley for assets or simply stand pat and see if the current group can develop more chemistry.

Sixers’ Drummond, Clippers’ Jackson, Others Exit Protocols

Sixers center Andre Drummond has exited the NBA’s health and safety protocols and was in attendance at the team’s practice on Wednesday, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link).

Drummond had been one of three Sixers players in the protocols, along with Shake Milton and Danny Green. While Green is still listed as out for Thursday’s game in Brooklyn, the team is hopeful that Milton will be able to clear the protocols and play in that game, tweets Pompey. Milton is currently considered questionable.

Here are a few more COVID-related updates:

  • Clippers guard Reggie Jackson has exited the COVID-19 protocols and rejoined the team, but won’t play on Wednesday in Boston, sources tell Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). Jackson will need a little reconditioning work before being activated.
  • Kings rookie Davion Mitchell has cleared the health and safety protocols, tweets Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Another rookie, center Neemias Queta, is currently the only Sacramento player in the protocols.
  • Thunder center Derrick Favors is no longer listed on the team’s injury report, which is a sign that he has cleared the protocols, notes Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (Twitter link). Favors was just placed in the protocols on Tuesday, so he may have registered a false positive.

COVID-19 Roundup: Raptors, Kings, Thunder, Knicks

The hits keep coming for the NBA. While some good news has arrived regarding the health status of a handful of players, several more have been sidelined in the league’s coronavirus protocols. Here are the newest developments concerning which players have entered or exited the health and safety protocols:

  • Raptors big man Precious Achiuwa and point guard Malachi Flynn have exited the NBA’s coronavirus health and safety protocols, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN. Lewenberg notes that power forward Pascal Siakam and wing Gary Trent Jr., who cleared protocols yesterday, have been listed as probable ahead of Toronto’s game against the Sixers this evening. Center Khem Birch, who also cleared protocols yesterday, remains questionable to play, as do Achiuwa and Flynn. Following this news, the total sum of Raptors players still in the league’s COVID-19 protocols has fallen to five.
  • Kings center Alex Len has exited the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, per James Ham of ESPN 1320 (via Twitter). Because the 7-footer has not played a game since December 15, Ham notes that Len remains questionable to play tonight against the Thunder.
  • Thunder center Derrick Favors is now in the league’s coronavirus protocols, reports Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee. Favors is the sixth Oklahoma City player currently in COVID-19 protocols. Head coach Mark Daigneault also entered the protocols today.
  • The Knicks have announced (Twitter link) that little-used guard Wayne Selden has entered the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The 6’5″ veteran wing has not been a part of the rotation this season for New York, having suited up for just three games thus far.
  • Keep tabs on all the NBA’s current coronavirus absences via our daily tracker.

Northwest Notes: McLaughlin, Wolves, Whiteside, Favors

After riding the pine for the first three quarters of an eventual 96-89 Timberwolves victory over the Pelicans on Sunday, reserve point guard Jordan McLaughlin made sure to maximize his minutes when his number was called during the game’s fourth quarter, per Chris Hine of The Star Tribune.

“We all have our job to do and mine is to be ready at all times,” McLaughlin said. “So, I’m just going in there, trying to change the game, pick up full court, be a pest on defense and push the pace on offense and make plays.”

A 5’11” point guard out of USC, the 25-year-old McLaughlin re-signed with Minnesota over the summer on a three-year, $6.5MM deal, with a team option for the final season. Hine notes that head coach Chris Finch had stuck with a 10-man rotation before ultimately turning to McLaughlin in a successful strategic maneuver to close out New Orleans. McLaughin’s solid offensive contributions in a win for the 2-1 Timberwolves could certainly earn him future rotation time.

In 12 minutes on Sunday, McLaughlin netted a +5 plus-minus rating, to go along with six points on two-of-three shooting, two steals, two boards and an assist. During the Timberwolves’ Monday rematch against the Pelicans on Monday, however, McLaughlin was less successful. In 11 minutes during the 107-98 loss, McLaughlin scored no points and registered a -10 rating, though he did chip in three assists and a rebound.

“We have literally 15 guys on the roster that can play at a high level, night in and night out,” McLaughlin said. “We have a really deep team, and every night we’ve got to bring it, withstand the punches and just keep rolling with them and try to overcome it at the end.”

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • Following their aforementioned 107-98 Monday defeat to the Pelicans, the Timberwolves held an intense practice, focused on emphasizing passing and looking for open teammates, writes Chris Hine of the Star Tribune“The person that’s open gets the ball,” shooting guard Josh Okogie commented. “Obviously, we have (D’Angelo Russell) and (Karl-Anthony Towns), and those guys are the stars on our team, and those guys get, obviously, more leniency on the shots they do take because they’ve proved that they can make those shots. But in the normal flow of the offense, I feel like whether it’s me, Malik (Beasley), Taurean (Prince), Jaden (McDaniels), whoever it is … If the person is open, I feel like they should get the ball.” Minnesota head coach Chris Finch confirmed the intensity of the practice following the loss. “It was a little testy,” Finch said. “A lot of the guys talking about what could have been done better or different. … I’d rather have that than guys in there who don’t care and not say anything, they’re not bothered. Then winning doesn’t mean enough to you.”
  • New Jazz reserve center Hassan Whiteside seems to be taking to his new fit on a playoff-caliber roster behind All-Star center Rudy Gobert quite well, per Tony Jones of The Athletic. Jones notes that the Jazz have outscored opponents by 20 points during the time Whiteside has logged on the floor in Gobert’s stead during the young season. “This is why they brought me here,” the 32-year-old said. “I knew what I was getting myself into when I signed here, so I had to prepare myself for how the Jazz liked to play. They like to have a rolling big. They want to have the shot-blocking. They’ve been really successful at it in the past, so I know how they like to play. I just have to put myself in a position to be successful.” Through two games as of this writing, Whiteside is averaging 7.0 PPG, 9.5 RPG, and 1.5 BPG in just 17.0 MPG.
  • Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault intends to rest veteran center Derrick Favors during one game of their back-to-back sets, according to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (Twitter link). Daigneault noted that this strategy was agreed upon by both Oklahoma City and Favors. The 6’9″ 30-year-old out of Georgia Tech has started two of his three contests with the Thunder thus far, averaging 4.0 PPG and 6.3 RPG across 16.3 MPG.

Northwest Notes: Favors, Morris, Billups, Snell

Derrick Favors didn’t expect to be traded to the rebuilding Thunder, but he’s trying to make the most of the situation, as he told Tony Jones of The Athletic.

“At first, I was kind of confused,” Favors said. “I was caught off guard. But, I knew it was nothing personal. When I reflected on it from a business standpoint, I knew that something had to happen. I accepted it, and I’m in a great place.”

Favors, who scored just four points while grabbing nine rebounds against his former team on Wednesday, was a member of the Jazz for over eight years from 2011-19 before being traded to New Orleans. He re-signed with Utah in 2020 and then was traded again this offseason. The Thunder were motivated to make the deal with the Jazz by adding another future first-rounder to their stockpile of picks.

Since he hadn’t played a road game in Utah since first leaving the team in 2019, the Jazz put together a tribute video for Favors that was displayed during the first half, Sarah Todd of The Deseret News writes.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • As Jamal Murray works his way back from a devastating knee injury, Monte Morris is embracing his current role as the lead point guard, Kyle Fredrickson of the Denver Post writes. “I’m not trying to be Jamal Murray. I’m just trying to be the best fashion of myself that I can be and help the team in any way,” Morris said. “That’s why there’s not a lot of pressure.” He had nine points and three assists in the Nuggets’ opening-night victory over Phoenix.
  • First-year coach Chauncey Billups says he’s not worried about the possibility of the Trail Blazers getting off to a slow start, Casey Holdahl of the team’s website writes. Billups is more concerned about the team’s growth under a new system. “This team has gotten to the playoffs forever and then those habits end up coming into play and it derails you from trying to extend your season,” he said. “So I’m more concerned with how we can change a lot of things that are really important for us on both ends of the ball. And when we actually do that, I just know how good of a team we can be.”
  • Trail Blazers wing Tony Snell suffered a minor setback as he recovers from a right foot sprain that sidelined during the preseason, according to Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. “I think he’ll be on the court hopefully before two weeks but you can’t throw a guy back out there in a game,” Billups said. Snell joined the team in free agency on a one-year contract.

Thunder Notes: Favors, SGA, Vaccinations, Krejci, Deck

After being traded from a title contender in Utah to a fully rebuilding team in Oklahoma City this offseason, Derrick Favors admitted on Monday that the idea of not reporting to his new team and/or asking to be sent elsewhere crossed his mind. However, he said he didn’t “want to be that guy,” as Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman relays (via Twitter).

Favors likely isn’t part of the Thunder‘s long-term plans, but he’s under contract for another year beyond this season, so the team likely won’t consider buying him out or releasing him anytime soon. As they did with veterans like Chris Paul and Al Horford, the Thunder will likely try to build up Favors’ value as much as they can before perhaps pursuing a trade at the 2022 deadline or next summer.

Here’s more out of Oklahoma City:

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who missed the last two months of the 2020/21 season due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot, has “no limitations at all” entering training camp, Thunder general manager Sam Presti said last week, according to Paris Lawson of OKCThunder.com. Presti admitted the team took a “conservative approach” to the injury last season in the hopes that Gilgeous-Alexander would be 100% now.
  • Presti also said last week that all of the Thunder’s players are vaccinated against COVID-19, per Lawson.
  • It has now been a full year since rookie guard Vit Krejci tore his ACL, and he said today that his knee isn’t giving him any problems, tweets Mussatto. Krejci was selected with the 37th pick in the 2020 draft, but spent the year rehabbing his injury and didn’t sign his first NBA contract until this offseason.
  • There were rumors in international outlets over the summer that Gabriel Deck, who is on a non-guaranteed contract with the Thunder, might return to Spain this offseason. However, Deck denied those reports today. The rumors are not true,” he said, per Mussatto (Twitter link). “It was always my plan to be here with the Thunder.”

Jazz Rumors: Conley, Niang, MLE, Porter, Gay

The Jazz remain on track to finalize an agreement on a three-year contract with Mike Conley once free agency officially opens tonight, reports Tony Jones of The Athletic. Previous reports have indicated that Utah is the strong frontrunner to bring back Conley and that the team is preparing a three-year offer in the neighborhood of $75MM for the veteran point guard. Based on Jones’ report, it sounds like that hasn’t changed and a deal could be in place later today.

Here’s more on the Jazz:

  • League sources tell Jones that free agent forward Georges Niang is highly unlikely to return to the Jazz, since he’s unrestricted and is expected to draw significant interest from rival suitors.
  • Even though the Conley signing will take them well over the luxury tax line, the Jazz are willing to use the taxpayer’s mid-level exception (worth about $5.9MM) in free agency, writes Jones. However, the team won’t use it just for the sake of using it, and will want to land one of its primary targets.
  • Otto Porter and Rudy Gay are among the free agent forwards on Utah’s radar, according to Jones. However, Jones hears that Porter may be leaning toward the Nets, while Gay is believed to be eyeing the Lakers.
  • Following up on Utah’s trade that sent Derrick Favors to Oklahoma City, Jones reports that Favors will meet with the Thunder‘s front office on Tuesday. That meeting is expected to determine whether Favors sticks with OKC or whether another trade could be forthcoming. It’s worth noting that the Jazz wouldn’t be permitted to re-sign Favors if he were bought out by the Thunder, though a buyout is unlikely anyway since he has two years left on his contract.

Northwest Notes: Wolves, J. Butler, Mudiay, Favors

The Timberwolves‘ second stint with former No. 5 overall pick Ricky Rubio wasn’t the fairy tale reunion either side hoped for, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic in a breakdown of the team’s trade with Cleveland and what it means for the Wolves moving forward.

While the Wolves are receiving solid three-and-D wing Taurean Prince as the return for Rubio, Krawczynski writes that Prince isn’t viewed as the solution to the team’s long-running search for a starting power forward, but rather as a rotation wing.

One benefit to the deal is an added $4.8MM in cap flexibility, which could allow the Wolves to use their entire taxpayer mid-level exception while possibly adding last year’s first round pick Leandro Bolmaro as well. Kracwzynski writes that the team explored trades into the draft and for Hawksforward Danilo Gallinari, but in the end were satisfied with the return of Prince.

We have more news from around the Northwest Division:

  • Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune details the Jazz‘s excitement upon trading down in the draft to land Baylor guard Jared Butler with the 40th pick, as well as two future second rounders. Butler, whom Utah was initially targeting in the first round, is viewed as someone who can play off the bench immediately, or even fill in should the Jazz lose Mike Conley to free agency.
  • Veteran point guard Emmanuel Mudiay will play for the Trail Blazers during Summer League, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. The former No. 7 pick has bounced around the league since being traded from the team that drafted him, the Nuggets, to the Knicks in 2018, but the 25-year-old will be looking for a chance to get his career back on track with a strong showing in Las Vegas.
  • Derrick Favors was caught off-guard by the trade that will send him from the Jazz to the Thunder,writes Tony Jones of The Athletic. “Honestly, I’m still trying to process what happened,” Favors said. “It was tough to go to New Orleans, but I thought that there was a chance that I would come back to Utah. Now, I know this is it. So, there’s a lot to think about and a lot to work out.”

Jazz Trade Derrick Favors To Thunder

11:58am: The Thunder have officially confirmed the trade, announcing in a press release that they received Favors and a future first-round pick in exchange for a 2027 second-rounder and cash.

Oklahoma City likely took on Favors’ contract using the $10.1MM trade exception it had available from last year’s Danilo Gallinari trade. The Jazz will create a new $9.26MM trade exception in the swap.


7:10am: The Thunder and Jazz are in agreement on a trade that will send Favors and a future first-round pick to Oklahoma City in exchange for a future second-rounder, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Utah is sending its 2022 first-round pick (top-six protected) to Memphis in another deal, so the first-rounder going to Oklahoma City figures to be in 2024 or later due to the Stepien rule.


6:40am: The Thunder and Jazz are engaged in serious talks on a potential trade that would send center Derrick Favors from Utah to Oklahoma City, according to Shams Charania and Tony Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Favors, 30, signed a three-year contract with Utah last fall and posted modest numbers in his first season back with the team after a year in New Orleans. Favors averaged a career-low 5.4 PPG to go along with 5.5 RPG and 1.0 BPG in 68 games (15.3 MPG). It was his first NBA season in which he didn’t start a single game.

Favors’ contract isn’t especially onerous — he has a $9.7MM guaranteed salary for 2021/22, followed by a $10.2MM player option for 2022/23. However, it’ll likely be considered a negative asset given his dip in production last season and the fact that the Jazz are facing a serious cap crunch. If Utah re-signs Mike Conley and doesn’t dump any salary, the team will face a substantial tax bill next season.

As a point of comparison, when the Pistons agreed to send Mason Plumlee to the Hornets on Thursday, Detroit moved down 20 spots in the draft to do so (from No. 37 to 57). Plumlee was more productive in 2020/21 than Favors and is owed less guaranteed money going forward.

The Thunder are no strangers to accommodating salary dumps, having used that approach multiple times to add to their stockpile of future draft picks within the last couple years. They could take on Favors without sending any money back to the Jazz by using one of their trade exceptions or by opening up cap room once the new league year begins.

It’s unclear what sort of asset the Jazz might attach to Favors to get a deal done. There were rumors earlier in the week that they were discussing possible trades involving the big man and the No. 30 pick, but a 2021 selection is less likely to be involved now that all of those picks have been made. As such, Utah and Oklahoma City may be discussing a future draft asset.

O’Connor’s Latest: Nuggets, Grizzlies, Warriors, Kings, Hornets

Within his latest mock draft, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer confirms a few items we’ve heard elsewhere in recent days. According to O’Connor, Jalen Green‘s workout with the Pistons last week was “outstanding,” the Jazz are willing to attach the No. 30 pick to Derrick Favors in a potential trade, and league sources widely expect Scottie Barnes to be the Magic‘s pick at No. 5.

O’Connor also reiterates that the Rockets continue to explore moving up to No. 1 and says the Thunder have made efforts to trade up, with Green, Cade Cunningham, and Evan Mobley among their presumed targets.

Here are a few more notes of interest from O’Connor’s latest article:

  • League sources tell O’Connor that the Nuggets are trying to move up from No. 26 into the top 20, dangling young bench players or future draft assets in those talks.
  • Although O’Connor confirms that the Grizzlies are interested in Josh Giddey after trading up to No. 10, he says Memphis could try to move up even further, with an eye on Jonathan Kuminga or James Bouknight.
  • Giddey, Kuminga, and Bouknight could also be in the mix for the Warriors at No. 7, according to O’Connor, who says Giddey is thought to be one of Golden State’s “main targets.” O’Connor adds that Keon Johnson‘s ceiling may be the Warriors’ pick at No. 7.
  • The Kings continue to be active in shopping the No. 9 pick, Buddy Hield, and Marvin Bagley III in separate trade scenarios, per O’Connor.
  • League sources continue to connect the Hornets, who will be seeking a center this summer, to Myles Turner, Richaun Holmes, and Nerlens Noel, according to O’Connor.