UTAH JAZZ

Derrick Favors Deserves To Be Remembered By Jazz Fans

May 17, 2019, 5:32 PM | Updated: 6:28 pm
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Reports have surfaced that other NBA teams may be interested in signing Utah Jazz forward/center Derrick Favors.

The Jazz have a team option on Favors but may end up renouncing his deal at some point this summer, allowing other teams to sign the big man. The Los Angeles Lakers, for example, have been reported to have interest in Favors.

It may make a lot of sense for the Jazz to decline their option on Favors. By taking his $16 million contract off the books, the Jazz will then have the cap room to sign a free agent to a max contract, something that may be desperately needed for the team to take a step forward.

Favors himself has said that he would like to return to Utah next season, saying “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side,” at the team’s end of year media session.

The choice, however, is not Favors’ to make.

Make no mistake, as much as dealing with players and contracts can sometimes require a cold, business-like approach, it may be an emotional decision for Jazz executives Dennis Lindsey and Justin Zanik.

Over the recent past, the team has stressed the importance of chemistry and continuity. When it comes to continuity, there’s no better representative of that concept than Derrick Favors.

Favors Ushered In New Era Of Jazz Basketball

Favors is the longest tenured Jazzman on the squad and ranks 10th all-time in games played in a Jazz uniform. More than anything, he should be remembered as the player who bridged a new era of Jazz basketball.

Drafted by the then-New Jersey Nets in 2010, Favors was the centerpiece of a trade that involved Deron Williams while still in his rookie year. The Favors-Williams trade came just days after the former Jazz point guard reportedly had a major argument with Jerry Sloan which resulted in the legendary coach’s mid-season retirement.

Once Williams was sent to New Jersey, the Jazz were tasked with the tall order of rebuilding the team with Favors as the cornerstone of the team’s very young core.

Fast forward to 2019, the Jazz’s rebuilding process that began in February 2011 is virtually complete. Along the way, Favors has seen it all. He’s experienced the lows of the Ty Corbin era coupled with the highs of the Quin Snyder regime. Supporting players and even some All-Stars have come and gone. The one constant on the team, however, has been Favors.

While Favors has never quite lived up to the hype of being a top-3 draft pick in that he’s never made an All-Star team and has never achieved any season-long league accolades other than a second team All-Rookie selection, he’s been the heart and soul of the Jazz.

He has repeatedly received heavy praise from his teammates, coaches and general managers for his willingness to put the team first. Most notably, Favors has been praised for his willingness to take on a lesser role in the emergence of Rudy Gobert.

His teammates love him, it’s evident in the way they talk about him after he has a stellar game. On those days when Favors puts the team on his back and carries them to a victory, which he’s done numerous times in his Jazz tenure, his name is always on the tongue of Snyder and other members of team in their postgame interviews.

Favors Deserves Pay, Important Role

And yet, it seems very possible now that Jazz fans have seen the last of Derrick Favors in a Utah uniform.

Should Favors move on to a new team, it’s likely that he’ll receive an increase in pay and take on a more prominent role. He deserves both. The Jazz can’t really offer him either, and letting him go may help the team sign an important piece. However, as stated above, it’ll be an emotional day for Lindsey, Zanik and the rest of the Jazz decision makers.

Statistically and accomplishment-wise, Favors isn’t quite the type of player that will likely see his number raised in the rafters at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Still, if he ends up on a different NBA roster for the 2019-20 season, he deserves a warm welcome and possibly a standing ovation from the fans at the arena upon his return.

Favors deserves the respect and adoration of all Jazz fans. He’s an important part of the team’s history.

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Derrick Favors Deserves To Be Remembered By Jazz Fans