HoopsHype Derrick Favors rumors
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Among league insiders, the Orlando Magic are drawing a lot of comparisons to the Utah Jazz. Both are unglamorous teams in the middle of multiyear rebuilds, centered around piles of draft picks and young players that haven’t yet yielded a foundational superstar. The Jazz, however, got a head start by leveraging the desperation of the New York teams and snagging picks that became Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors, both borderline All-Stars now. Then, in 2013, Utah nailed the draft by nabbing “the Stifle Tower,” Rudy Gobert, at no. 27. Grantland
Favors, for one, did not want to be any part of a tanking bunch, and he knew it would be up to those who were designated to lead the team to ensure that did not happen. New coach Quin Snyder put much on Favors' shoulders to begin the year. “I put myself in there,” Favors said. “I have been in the league for five years now, so coaches were adamant that they would be looking to me to help lead the team.” It has paid off. In fact, much of what the Jazz have been doing in the last couple of years is paying off now. After a brutal start to the year that saw them endure a nine-game losing streak and a 6-19 record, Utah has been among the best teams in the league in the last six weeks. Dating back to February 7 they have, amazingly, gone 14-4 and offered a very encouraging glimpse at the future to their fan base. Sporting News
A fifth year center, Favors scored a career-high 32 points and added nine rebounds and two blocked shots to that total. Small forward Gordon Hayward was almost equally as good, scoring 24 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and handing out three assists. They were without question the two best players on the floor. On a young team that still features a bunch of questions, Favors and Hayward looked like potential all-stars - if only for one night. "What Favors did tonight from a leadership perspective was outstanding," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "I thought Gordon was also terrific. Derrick’s line obviously stands out at you, but Gordon was almost as good. Those two guys - from a leadership standpoint - they just connected tonight." Salt Lake Tribune
While in Southern California for a preseason road trip, Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward had a chance to reunite with perhaps the most popular Utah Jazz teammate they’ve ever had. And it happened, of all places, on the set of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." The two Utah players were invited to participate in a five-minute segment featuring JP Gibson, the 5-year-old with leukemia who signed a one-day contract with the Jazz last week. The family didn't know the players were going to surprise them and be part of the show, which aired Thursday afternoon. Deseret News
But heading into his fifth season, the Jazz big man knows that he needs to expand his offensive game and continue to evolve into a defensive and rebounding force at the other end of the floor. To that end, Favors’ off-season has been dedicated to expanding the range on his jumper, adding moves with his back to the basket and losing weight. Favors is expected to play center in Snyder’s new offense. Largely gone are the days of him occupying the low post. Much of his time will be spent playing pick-and-roll basketball with the guards. "When I was younger, I would try to dunk on everyone," Favors said. "But I know that’s not possible all the time." Salt Lake Tribune
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