Those are the three who have humbled him. Those are the three who have matured him, and they are who he plays for. Favors is entering the most uncertain summer of his career. The Jazz — who very much want to bring him back, according to league sources — hold a team option on the final year of his contract.
There’s a big hitch, however. The Jazz, according to sources, will be active on the trade and free-agent markets. To make a significant acquisition to bolster a roster that’s flatlined in the 50-win range, Favors would likely have to be released.
Favors knows he may have played his last game in a Jazz uniform. He knows he could be an unrestricted free agent in less than a month. He’s at peace with it all. He will celebrate Father’s Day this weekend with his children. On Monday, he will wake up and go to his daily workout, which includes a lift, a bit of cardio and a bunch of skill work in his mission to evolve his perimeter game. “My goal when I retire is for my children to be able to look at me and be proud of me,” Favors told The Athletic. [....] “I want them to be proud that I’m their father. That’s why I’ll never be afraid to give it my all in basketball. I’ve prepared myself mentally that maybe I’ll have to be on another team and in another city. I’ve accepted that already. It’s the nature of the business that you never know what the future holds. I want to stay in Utah. But, if I have to go a different route, I have to accept that, and I have to believe in my ability.”
So, part of the discussion in the front office centers on this question: How can the Jazz improve without sacrificing the man who starts at power forward and provides a tremendous security blanket to Rudy Gobert as a backup center? “Derrick Favors isn’t part of the problem,” Jazz executive Dennis Lindsey said. “He’s part of the solution. Of course we want to bring him back.”
What happens to Favors if he is forced to move on? Already, there have been rumblings of interest from the Los Angeles Lakers, where his style of play would be a nice fit with LeBron James. In fact, he projects as a fit in multiple places. He’s one of the better offensive pick-and-roll big men in the league, able to pop into space and splash jumpers or to take it to the basket and finish above the rim.
For Utah going into next season, you guys have Ricky Rubio as a free agent and Derrick Favors on a non-guaranteed contract. What do you see for yourselves next season collectively? I think the biggest thing is just trusting what management does. Obviously, a lot of this stuff is out of my control personally. The biggest thing for us is to just get better and improve. Obviously, we didn’t have the end of the season we wanted to, but we had a 50-win season. I think that’s one of the things that people really don’t notice because we had such a quick exit in the playoffs, but we did have a 50-win season. I think for us, the biggest thing is just to continue to get better and understand that this is a process. It’s my first time really going through free agency like this, so I don’t really know what to expect, to be honest, but I’ve been around trades and guys coming in and going. We have such a tightknit team. I think it’s just a process of just trusting management and what they have planned. At the end of the day, we have to get better as individuals as well.
Another guy who, according to sources, the Lakers have an interest in is big man Derrick Favors. The Jazz have a team option on Favors that must be exercised by July 6 or he will be a free agent.
There's also interest in point guard Kyle Lowry, who could be available if the Raptors lose Kawhi Leonard in free agency. Because of Lowry's age (33) and contract ($33 million for next season), the Lakers could bring him in for a relatively limited outgoing package. Another guy who, according to sources, the Lakers have an interest in is big man Derrick Favors. The Jazz have a team option on Favors that must be exercised by July 6 or he will be a free agent.
Favors knows many people view that cap space and the lure of another star player as the best means to vault the franchise toward title contention. He also knows he would have viable options elsewhere, with Donovan Mitchell recently claiming Favors could start for 80% of the teams in the league. He still hopes to return, though. “I have a team option; I need that option picked up! I would prefer to come back here,” he said. “The grass is not always greener on the other side. … I’m happy in the situation that I’m in, in the position that I’m in — I think it’s good for me and the organization.”
Eric Woodyard: Just got the confirmation. Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors has agreed to a 2-year deal for $36 million. Favors met with the Jazz brass in an Atlanta hotel yesterday for at least 4-5 hours, according to a source. His team was also in talks to a “couple other” teams as well.
Marc J. Spears: Utah Jazz free agent big man Derrick Favors had a positive meeting with the Jazz for three hours today in Atlanta and plans to announce a free agency decision on Monday, a source told ESPN's The Undefeated.
David Aldridge: The Jazz met with @Derrick Favors and agent Wallace Prather Sunday. The meeting with the Jazz was productive, but Wallace had meetings with multiple teams, and they are expected to make a decision on Monday.
Tony Jones: Derrick Favors met for 5 hours with Dennis Lindsey, Quin Snyder and Tony Lang, according to League Sources. The meeting went very well, sources say, although Favors hasn't made a decision on his future
Sean Deveney: Derrick Favors of the @Utah Jazz is expected to test the free-agent market, but both sides expect him to return to the Jazz, sources told Sporting News. If any team is willing to gamble on him, it could be the @Phoenix Suns. But Phoenix is also looking at @Toronto Raptors PG Fred VanVleet.
Tony Jones: The Utah Jazz will travel to Atlanta to meet with unrestricted free agent power forward Derrick Favors on Sunday afternoon, League Sources tell The Salt Lake Tribune.
Favors strongly states that he loves the Jazz from top to bottom, whether it is ownership, management, the coaching staff or his teammates. Even so, the 26-year-old believes it is in his best interest to do his due diligence when free agency begins. “I’m definitely excited about being a free agent for the first time and pretty much getting a chance to control my own destiny,” Favors said. “I’m just trying to find the right situation that makes sense for me as a player. Be in the right spot. Get a chance to showcase my talent. Get a chance to showcase what I can do. I’m just focused on finding the right situation that is the right fit for me.”
Favors is in favor of visiting teams during free agency. “I don’t think you get a really good feel over the phone,” Favors said. “I’d rather be face-to-face in a meeting, ask questions and kind of figure stuff out.”
With the Jazz on the rise and the environment strong, Favors admitted that the franchise would be tough to leave. He said if Utah offers him a “good situation that fits” perfectly, he would likely re-sign quickly. “I really do enjoy being out there,” Favors said. “I enjoyed all of my teammates. I enjoy the organization, the front office and the coaching staff. I love everything about Utah. It is definitely a business. There might be a situation where I do have to leave. It would be tough. But you have to put yourself in the right situation, because the teams are going to do that for themselves, too. You just have to find the right situation.”
Eric Woodyard: I was told through a source today that Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors has set up a "few" free agent meetings. He is currently vacationing until the meetings begin after July 1. Favors loves Utah but his goal is to go through the process to see what situation is best for him.
“I’m definitely excited about being a free agent for the first time and pretty much getting a chance to control my own destiny,” Favors said. “I’m just trying to find the right situation that makes sense for me as a player. Be in the right spot. Get a chance to showcase my talent. Get a chance to showcase what I can do. I’m just focused on finding the right situation that is the right fit for me.” Favors is in favor of visiting teams during free agency. “I don’t think you get a really good feel over the phone,” Favors said. “I’d rather be face-to-face in a meeting, ask questions and kind of figure stuff out.”
“I really do enjoy being out there,” Favors said. “I enjoyed all of my teammates. I enjoy the organization, the front office and the coaching staff. I love everything about Utah. “It is definitely a business. There might be a situation where I do have to leave. It would be tough. But you have to put yourself in the right situation, because the teams are going to do that for themselves, too. You just have to find the right situation.”
“It was a great season for me,” Favors said. “I think I exceeded a lot of expectations in a sense. I know there was a lot of question of how I would come back after the season before being injured a lot and with the way they are playing now basically with [small forward] at [power forward]. People wondered if I could guard the perimeter. I know there was a lot of question on whether me and Rudy could fit offensively. I know I went out and proved a lot of people wrong. “I didn’t have the best stats because I had to sacrifice a lot. In terms of basketball, I exceeded a lot of expectations.”
Favors — the athletic power forward — will be the most visible internal free agent for the Jazz this summer. And he knows his freedom on the unrestricted market can go a number of different ways once July 1 rolls around. “The communication has been good,” Favors told The Salt Lake Tribune this week. “I’m pretty sure me and my agent [Wallace Prather] will get a meeting set up, and we’ll figure some things out. I know they want me back, and I want to come back. But, it’s a business and a numbers game, so we’ll have to see.”
As for Favors and Exum, Lindsey wouldn’t say he expected to sign both players, although he did say he “hoped” to have both players back for next season. “He’s a good player on a good team and Derrick is very consistent in his want to be back here,” Lindsey said. “I think he understands what he has here and we certainly understand what he produces. His agent is a terrific person and that’s been able to carve out good deals for both sides, so I don’t see any initial obstacles. Derrick’s got to go through this process, but that’s my hope (he’ll be back).”
It may have just been a slip of the tongue or perhaps just his manner of talking when Derrick Favors spoke in the past tense about his time in Utah during his “locker-cleanout” interview Wednesday with local media. “I enjoyed this year,” he said. “I enjoyed my whole time in Utah. I fell in love with the city, with the organization, with you guys.”
He said he’s not leaning one way or another some two months before he must make a decision on his future. “We’ll see how it goes,” he said. “There will be a lot of things to think about this summer, but I can wait for that.”
Andy Larsen: Re: Favors' tweet: maybe I'm wrong! I have two sources that have told me that Favors isn't going to resign in Utah, but they could be lying to me or just misguided. There is also the cynical possibility of: maybe Favs is saying this to preserve negotiating position.
Derrick Favors will be a free agent at the end of the season, and has already become the subject of speculation. He emphatically told The Salt Lake Tribune this week that he wants to remain with the Jazz long-term, but also knows the reality: He could be a trade asset for the Jazz as they rebuild in the wake of Gordon Hayward’s own free agency departure last summer. “The key is for me not to think about it,” Favors said. “I don’t read the articles. I don’t read twitter. I just don’t pay attention to it. I just have to understand that I can be here one day and gone the next. So I have to work hard while I’m here. I have to keep working on my game. And when I’m in the game, I just have to know that I’m not only playing for my team, but I’m showcasing my talent as well.”
August 7, 2022 | 7:04 pm EDT Update
August 7, 2022 | 4:31 pm EDT Update
Goran Dragic talked to the Slovenian press before Saturday’s prep game against Montenegro and explained his motivation about his return to the Slovenian national team. “I predict the semi-finals, but then anything is possible”, said a smiling Dragic, who is ready to defend the title he won together with a young Luka Doncic back in 2017. However, after five years things are different and Dragic understands it: “In my opinion, I will play a little less minutes, it will not be at that level. I don’t know how much I played, 36 minutes per game? Everything will depend on how I feel. The role will definitely be different. I was Batman, but now I’ll be Robin. The most important thing will be to make sure we have good chemistry and be a leader on the court and lift guys up when it’s most difficult. My role remains the same, Luka’s may have changed a bit more, but I believe that everyone has their own role in the national team and that there will be no problems. We all understand each other, we are one big team, and that’s why we can make a good result. That chemistry is what other teams don’t have.”
Dragic had also to convince the Chicago Bulls to let him play, something that was not ideal for them: “When I had a medical exam with Chicago and sat down with them, they said I’d rather not play. I said I’d rather and in the end it’s the player who decides. I had to go to Chicago, undergo a medical examination and everything else. When you go to a medical examination, you always wait for the results, because you never know what can happen”.
And Dragic knows that the Eurobasket will not be a walk in the park: “This will be my toughest championship so far. I think a lot of national teams have players from the NBA. I believe that we will have good chances. I did not return to the national team to play for fifth or sixth place. The desire is for a medal, but now, as I said, it is necessary to go step by step”.
Law Murray: For the first time since 2017, Norman Powell is playing today @DrewLeague for Hometown Favorites He is the first current LA Clippers player to play at Drew League since Montrezl Harrell in 2019. pic.twitter.com/7fDl7wv6Lv