Derrick Favors

Bulls Sign, Waive Derrick Favors, Kahlil Whitney

OCTOBER 18: The Bulls have officially waived Favors and Whitney, the team announced today (via Twitter). As noted below, the expectation is that both players will end up with the Windy City Bulls in the G League.

OCTOBER 16: The Bulls have signed Derrick Favors and Kahlil Whitney to training camp deals, the team announced (Twitter link). Both players are likely to end up with the team’s G League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls, for the upcoming season.

A report on Saturday indicated that Favors intended to play in the G League, so his signing with the Bulls is likely just a formality ensuring he ends up with Windy City. Given the announcement indicates both players are signing camp contracts, it’s probable they signed Exhibit 10 deals, which ensures them a bonus of up to $75K if they are waived by the Bulls and spend at least 60 days with Windy City.

Favors, 32, is an 11-year NBA veteran who holds career averages of 10.6 points and 7.1 rebounds in 790 career games (503 starts) with the Nets, Jazz, Pelicans and Thunder. His best statistical season came in 2015/16, when he averaged 16.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.5 blocks per game. The 6’9″ forward opened up about his career and hopes for his future earlier this week as he eyes a return to the NBA.

Whitney has had an intriguing journey as he attempts to stick in the NBA. He played in just one season with Kentucky in 2019/20 as a consensus five-star prospect out of high school. However, he averaged just 3.3 points in 18 games (eight starts) in his freshman season. Surprisingly, he went one-and-done, signing an Exhibit 10 deal with the Hornets after going undrafted in the 2020 draft.

The 6’7″ wing is still just 22 years old and has both G League and international experience in recent years. Whitney averaged 5.5 points in 18 regular season and Showcase Cup appearances with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers last season.

Both Favors and Whitney could show enough to stick with the Bulls in the future, if not now. Though the club has a full 15-man standard roster, Terry Taylor and Carlik Jones don’t see their contracts become fully guaranteed until January 10, so it’s possible Chicago makes changes to the back end of its roster down the line. Whitney is also eligible for a two-way deal, though the Bulls have all three two-way spots filled as of now.

Derrick Favors Talks G League, Thunder, Career What-Ifs

Twelve-year NBA pro Derrick Favors, still just 32, is attempting a return to the league where he’s earned $131MM. The 6’9″ big man reportedly intends to sign a G League deal, though it remains unclear where specifically he’ll end up. Favors detailed his decision to join an NBAGL club during a revealing conversation with Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

“Right now, I think that’s probably the best option for me,” Favors said. “I think overseas options will be there. That’s not going anywhere. Right now, my main focus is to get back into the league, and I think this might be the best possibility by taking this route. I did get some interest (overseas). I didn’t take a good, hard look at it.”

Across 790 career regular season contests, the No. 3 pick in the 2011 draft out of Georgia Tech holds averages of 10.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.2 BPG and 1.1 APG. He most recently suited up for the Thunder in 2021/22.

Their chat is well worth reading in full, but here are some highlights.

On his most recent NBA team, the Thunder:

“When I got to OKC, they were super young at the time, so I didn’t fit their timeline as much, but I knew they were talented and would be good when they figured it out. They’re one of the rising teams in the NBA.”

On what he might do differently in his career:

“Maybe not stress as much about certain things you can’t control. What I mean by that is being affected by trade rumors or being affected by minutes. You may not be playing as many minutes as somebody else.”

On speculating about a long-term life with the Nets, who trade him to the Jazz midway through his rookie season:

“It was kind of a tough situation because in New Jersey, I was starting at the time and starting to build my name up and my confidence. Then when I got traded, I had to come off the bench, and I played behind those two guys who were damn near All-Stars (Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap). They were playing for 30-35 minutes.

“It was tough, but I always looked at it as a blessing because I got to be around good people as teammates and a great organization. The fans in Utah were unbelievable. I spent 10 years out there. I have a love for them, and I know they love me too. That was like a second home for me. I don’t know how it would’ve ended up in New Jersey if I stayed. I think being traded to Utah helped my career out a lot.”

Derrick Favors To Sign G League Contract

Free agent big man Derrick Favors plans to sign an NBA G League contract for the upcoming season, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

It’s unclear which team Favors will play for. His returning rights aren’t already held by any NBAGL club, and it sounds like he plans to join the league directly rather than inking an Exhibit 10 contract with an NBA team that wants to make him an affiliate player. If he signs a G League contract in the coming days, the 32-year-old would be eligible to be selected in this year’s NBAGL draft on October 28.

Favors has appeared in 790 NBA regular season games and another 42 playoff contests across 12 seasons with the Nets, Jazz, Pelicans, and Thunder, averaging 10.6 points and 7.1 rebounds in 24.3 minutes per night. The veteran forward/center was out of the league for most of last season — he signed a 10-day contract with the Hawks in January, but didn’t play at all for Atlanta.

Speaking to Scotto, Favors explained why he has decided to go the G League route as he pursues an NBA comeback.

“I still love the game. I love everything about it,” he said. “I love the whole process of working out, getting better, the weight room and conditioning, and the on-court work. … I’m 32. I want to keep paying until my body tells me I can’t play anymore. I’m playing until the wheels fall off.

“I still feel like I’ve got a lot more years left in me, and I still feel like I can compete at a high level. I still feel like I can help a team. I think I’ve shown in the past that I can adjust to any role that I’m in. I can come into the game on the offensive and defensive end. I can still do a lot of things out there on the court with the right team and the right situation to help a team either win a championship or be a mentor to a younger team.”

According to Favors, he received some interest from teams overseas, but didn’t seriously consider going that route, since he feels the G League represents his best path to get back to the NBA.

Warriors Auditioning Veteran Players

The Warriors are continuing to hold workouts with veteran NBA players as they look to fill out their roster, writes Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

In addition to Kent Bazemore and Juan Toscano-Anderson, who were previously identified as working out for the team, Scotto names Dewayne Dedmon, Will BartonJaylen NowellStanley Johnson and Derrick Favors as others who have been given tryouts.

Scotto notes that three of those players have previous experience with the organization. Bazemore signed with Golden State for the 2020/21 season, Toscano-Anderson was part of the 2021/22 title team, and Dedmon played four games for the Warriors during his rookie season.

Barton also has an upcoming workout with the Pelicans, sources tell Scotto. He was a starter with the Nuggets for several seasons, but saw his role diminish last year after being traded to the Wizards and then joining the Raptors as a free agent.

Favors recently worked out for the Trail Blazers, Scotto adds. The 32-year-old big man didn’t appear in any games last season, although he signed a 10-day contract with the Hawks in January.

Nowell averaged a career-high 10.8 PPG for the Timberwolves last season, but he hasn’t found a new team, even though Minnesota was believed to be open to a sign-and-trade deal. A report this summer indicated that the Mavericks had interest in Nowell, but nothing came of it.

Johnson, who has been with five teams over the past four years, averaged 5.8 PPG while shooting 45% from three-point range in 30 games with the Spurs last season.

Golden State has 13 players with guaranteed contracts and is expected to fill one of its two roster openings before the start of the season. The Warriors also have one two-way slot filled and commitments for three Exhibit 10 deals, so they can sign four more players before training camp opens.

Southeast Notes: Wizards, Vucevic, Magic, Favors, Heat

Johnny Davis, the 10th overall pick last June, has rarely seen the court for the Wizards, making just 10 appearances for an average of 5.0 minutes per contest. The rookie guard has spent most of the season with the team’s G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, averaging 11.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.1 APG and 1.0 SPG on .408/.352/.786 shooting in 14 games (25.2 MPG) during the Showcase Cup.

Head coach Wes Unseld Jr. has been keeping a close eye on the lottery pick’s G League performances, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.

I think the injuries have been a big piece of it. It’s hard to really evaluate a guy who hasn’t had a ton of opportunities here. I’ve seen a lot of growth with his G-League development,” Unseld said of Davis, who is currently sidelined with a right hip strain.

The level of confidence he’s playing with, I think he’s starting to see the game slow down for him. Offensively, I think he’s starting to settle in to see the types of plays and the types of shots we want him to take. So, there’s a lot of growth there. I know it’s not translating as fast as maybe we would all like to see, but I think it bodes well.”

Go-Go head coach Mike Williams also spoke to Hughes about Davis, saying he’s done a nice job defensively, but he needs to work on his decision-making and shooting offensively.

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • The Wizards are shorthanded for tonight’s game against the Bulls. In addition to guard Bradley Beal, who continues to be sidelined with a left hamstring strain, big men Daniel Gafford (right ankle sprain) and Kristaps Porzingis (right rib contusion) were downgraded from questionable to out (Twitter link). Deni Avdija and Taj Gibson started in place of Gafford and Porzingis. Backup forward Rui Hachimura should also see an uptick in minutes.
  • In an appearance on The Sixth Man Show podcast, Bulls center Nikola Vucevic was asked if he would be open to returning to the Magic if it made sense for him down the road. “Of course, I mean yeah,” Vucevic said. “That’s something that I would love to do at some point. We’ll see when that is possible, if that’s realistic and how it all works out. But yeah, for sure, I would like to, if anything, at least get one last year in Orlando. I think it’s only right it happens, so we’ll see. … I feel like I have a lot of basketball left, so who knows what will happen, but yeah, for sure, it’s something that’s on my mind, I can’t say it’s not.” The two-time All-Star will be a free agent in the summer.
  • Veteran center Derrick Favors, an Atlanta native who just inked a 10-day contract with the Hawks, says he grew up a fan of the team. “Oh, definitely a fan growing up,” Favors said, per Lauren Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (subscriber link). “Back when they had like Josh Smith, Joe Johnson, those guys. I’m definitely a fan, Al Horford. And just being from Atlanta has always been a dream to, you know, at least put the jersey on at least one time. So, it’s definitely a dream, and I’m blessed and humbled to be here.” According to Williams, Favors went through shootaround Wednesday, but he wasn’t sure if he’d see the court against the Bucks. “It’s up to them, you know, if they call the name, call my number, I’ll be ready,” he said. “You know, if not, then you know, I’ll be ready for the next game. So, you know, we’ll see.”
  • Head coach Nate McMillan provided a little more context on Favors’ potential role during his 10-day stint, Williams adds (Twitter links). He said he would prefer Favors to go through a practice before actually playing, but he might play Wednesday if needed. McMillan views Favors as an “insurance policy” when the Hawks need more size.
  • The Heat have dealt with so many injuries this season that head coach Erik Spoelstra admits that he sometimes forgets who is actually available to play, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “We’ve been dealing with a lot of moving parts,” he said. “I kept on forgetting who’s available and who’s not.” Miami only had a seven-man rotation after Dewayne Dedmon was ejected Tuesday.

Derrick Favors Signs 10-Day Deal With Hawks

JANUARY 11: Favors has officially signed with the Hawks, the team announced today in a press release. His 10-day contract will run through January 20, making him eligible for Atlanta’s next six games.

As our tracker shows, Favors’ deal is the fifth 10-day contract signed so far this season.

JANUARY 10: Veteran power forward Derrick Favors is signing a 10-day contract with the Hawks, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

Favors, 31, has been out of the league since the Rockets waived him during training camp. Houston made that move even though Favors’ $10,183,800 salary was guaranteed, due to a roster crunch. He was acquired by the Rockets in an eight-player trade with the Thunder in September.

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 — he averaged career-lows of 5.3 PPG and 4.7 RPG in 38 games (18 starts, 16.7 MPG) with the Thunder in 2021/22.

Atlanta has an open roster spot, so no corresponding move will be necessary. Favors will provide more depth up front, which could come in handy since Clint Capela is dealing with a calf injury. Capela won’t play against Milwaukee on Wednesday.

Favors could also be a longer-term option as a backup in case the Hawks deal power forward John Collins, whose name has frequently come up in trade rumors.

It’s a homecoming for Favors, who played for Georgia Tech after attending South Atlanta High School.

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 “‘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 “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.”