The Utah Jazz will reportedly make retaining unrestricted free agent power forward Derrick Favors a major focus this offseason.
There have been a lot of questions surrounding the Utah Jazz heading into this summer’s upcoming free agency. Will they aim to make a big splash in a trade or free agent signing? What positions will they look to upgrade? What moves do they need to make in order to continue their upwards trajectory but not handicap themselves financially?
Seeing how all of these are worked out will be absolutely fascinating to behold. But another question to go along with those is, what are the Utah Jazz going to do with their own free agents? Principal among them, the most valuable of their free agents, Derrick Favors?
Favors’ career with the Utah Jazz has been a good one, albeit an interesting one. He’s been reported to be on the trade block several times in the last couple years. There have seemingly always been questions about his fit alongside Rudy Gobert in an ever transforming league.
Leading up to this past trade deadline in February, speculation was that the Jazz ‘needed’ to trade Favors so that he didn’t leave them for nothing this summer, considering he’d supposedly made his intentions clear that he planned to do so.
Yet, after all the noise, it appears instead that Derrick Favors would like to remain with the Utah Jazz despite being an unrestricted free agent. He’s said as much both on social media and loud and clear in person. While the Jazz organization has clearly loved having Favors around as well, the question has been, is their priority to hold onto him, or look to replace his production with some other power forward option, possibly a playmaking stretch-four?
Well, according to Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune, it appears that we would have our answer. He recently tweeted out the following regarding Utah’s intentions with the free agency situation of Derrick Favors–
There you have it, Jazz fans. Utah’s focus this summer in free agency is bringing back Derrick Favors to be their power forward.
Now, this is still far from a done deal. Sure, Derrick Favors will have a hard time getting paid on the open market due to how tight money is this summer. But he’ll still want to make sure the Jazz are taking care of him financially and they’ll have to do so. Also, say he tests his market and a surprise team emerges that wants his services, things could change rapidly.
However, considering that at one point, there was belief of a zero percent chance that Derrick Favors would be back next season, I’d say those odds have jumped massively. Since Favors wants the Jazz and the Jazz apparently want Favors, I’d go as far as to say that it’s more likely than not that we’ll see the big man back in a Jazz uniform for the 2018-19 season, if not much longer.
And, quite truthfully, that’s exciting. I know many Jazz fans have salivated over the thought of potentially adding a stretch-four type or a young gun such as Aaron Gordon or Jabari Parker, but the fact of the matter is that Favors has been great for this team and personifies what it means to be a Jazzman. He works hard, hustles, gives his all night in and night out and is willing to sacrifice for the betterment of the team.
He’s shown on countless occasions including this past season that he’ll sacrifice playing time when it makes more sense for others to be on the floor in his spot such as Rudy Gobert or Jae Crowder. They have likewise done the same for him. He’s an excellent piece on the court and in the locker room as a great teammate and someone who has helped the Jazz chemistry become as tight-knit as it is.
Favors also has clearly developed a strong relationship with both Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell. Having that connection with his backcourt is something that can’t be understated. In short, Favors isn’t without his flaws, but he’s a great fit for the Jazz that still allows them versatility since he’s so willing to take a step back if a situation calls for a smaller lineup or if Rudy needs to simply close out at center.
That kind of personality is hard to find and, along with his incredible skills, makes Favors absolutely worth re-signing.
The free agency period officially starts on July 1 and there’s bound to be a lot of madness both inside and especially outside of the Utah Jazz organization. However, with Utah making retaining Derrick Favors a clear priority, I expect we’ll get a resolution on that situation relatively quickly.
Be sure to stay glued to TheJNotes.com for further updates as we’ll be sure to keep you posted on all the latest Derrick Favors and other free agency news.