NBA rumors: Derrick Favors: I'm used to being in trade rumors

Joe Mussatto: Derrick Favors on trade talk: “I think every year I’ve been in the league, my name’s been in trade rumors … I’m pretty much used to it. I don’t really pay attention to it. I try to control what I can control. I try to, like coach says, keep my feet grounded where I’m at.”

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“Those thoughts went through my head, but I didn't want to be that type of person,” Favors said. “So I said, ‘No, I'm going to go down and report there. I'm going to be in training camp. I'm going to be with the team, the organization, and whatever happens happens.' If I'm here, I'm here. If I get traded, it's just part of the business. But I'm locked in here.”
Oklahoma City further added to its stockpile of future first-round picks as the Utah Jazz agreed to send a future No. 1 and center Derrick Favors to the Thunder for a future second-round pick, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday. Before the move, the Thunder already had 12 first-round picks above and beyond their own -- some of which they can swap -- over the next five drafts. Oklahoma City traded the No. 16 pick in Thursday's NBA draft to the Houston Rockets for two future first-rounders -- in 2022 (via the Pistons) and 2023 (via the Wizards). The Rockets then used the selection to pick Alperen Sengun.
On Sunday, ESPN reported “the Jazz reportedly have some luxury tax concerns” and may look to move a veteran like Joe Ingles for a pick. The Action Network’s Matt Moore said the Jazz are “eager” to move Derrick Favors and would attach this pick to do so. League sources have told me the same. If Utah elects to retain this selection, or add another, Sharpe is a perfect target. He’s a tough big who could back up Rudy Gobert and provide some small-ball 5 potential with his versatility.
Multiple league sources indicated this week that the Jazz were open to trade discussions. The consensus is that Derrick Favors is not only available, but Utah is eager to move him to clear his roughly $20 million in remaining salary (including a $10 million player option for 2022-23).
For now, Griffin has given the same message across the league: He wants to continue to compete — and Holiday and veterans JJ Redick and Derrick Favors are part of his plan.
According to league sources, one of the more disappointing players on one of the league’s more disappointing teams —Derrick Favors of the Pelicans—is being “monitored” by several teams. There’s still no indication that New Orleans, with Favors having missed time because of back spasms and the death of his mother, will raise a metaphorical white flag, sell off veteran pieces and look ahead to next season.
Favors is in the final year of his contract, which pays him $17 million this year. The Pelicans would be selling low on Favors if they were to trade him now, but if he can play better in the coming month or so without the Pelicans’ playoff position improving, he’ll have value as a reliable veteran big man for teams looking to shore up their interior. “He was in Utah for just about all his career and it looks like he struggled to adjust in New Orleans and that is something you worry about,” one league executive told “But look, he is a dependable big guy. He can play better defense than he’s played this season. He is a good rebounder. He can give you 12, 15 points. Defenses can’t afford to lose him, he can make you pay. There’s going to be teams looking for a guy like that. But if you’re New Orleans, you’ve got a young guy you want to have those minutes.”
Tony Jones: Assets in picks are going back to the Utah Jazz in the New Orleans Pelicans deal, League Sources tell The Athletic. NO takes Derrick into cap space
“It affects people differently,” said Favors, after posting 14 points and three boards on 6-for-11 shooting in what could be his last game with the organization. “I don’t think it really affected anyone but I’m pretty sure, with myself included, we’re just ready to get it over with and whatever happens, happens pretty much.
It’s been firmly reported that the Utah Jazz have been offering Ricky Rubio and their 2019 pick for Mike Conley, which doesn’t quite work financially. Utah has to add more money to the deal. The working assumption off of that report has been that the Jazz would be more likely to want to add Derrick Favors ($17 million non-guaranteed next season), while the Grizzlies would prefer young guard Dante Exum (roughly $10 million in each of the next two seasons).
So as news began to surface that the Jazz are among the teams reportedly interested in Chicago Bulls forward Jabari Parker, according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, Favors doesn’t think too deep about it although his name is linked to a potential deal. “I was telling one of the coaches, I could go back years and years ago and I can name each guy I was supposed to get traded for,” Favors said ahead of the Jazz-Rockets game. “Every year, I can just name them so I have fun with it, I enjoy it.
“Definitely use it as motivation. But I have fun with it most of the time because most of the time I look forward to it, like ‘Who am I going to get traded for this year? Who they want me to get traded for? Where the rumors at?’ so I enjoy it.”
“In my year and a quarter that I’ve been here, he’s been supposed to be traded and from what I’ve been told in the league, guys don’t react to that kindly,” Mitchell said. “They just take exception to that kind of stuff and stop caring but it’s not that way with Fave, and I think that’s a unique talent that you need to put all that to the wayside and focus in on the game-to-day basis. “We care about Fave, he cares about us and I think that kind of shows with the way he’s been playing, with the way he’s acted,” he continued. “It’s easy to kind of say, ‘alright, whatever I’m done,’ but he’s on it everyday. He’s one of the first guys there, always putting in work, working extra, working hard, kind of letting us know what he sees and to have a guy like that, especially for a young guy like me, I’m very lucky.”
The Jazz may rethink their strategy a bit with the current hot streak, The Tribune has learned. Utah has been committed to trading Hood and gauging the market for Favors and Alec Burks. Veteran Joe Johnson has emerged as a buyout candidate if no trade partner is found in the next few days.
The Bucks have been active in trade talks, including for DeAndre Jordan, and adding another huge long-term salary would likely cost one of their core players this summer. (Talks with the Clippers have not gotten anywhere near serious.) They could rent a center on an expiring contract -- Derrick Favors, maybe -- but it's unclear if they have the assets to work that sort of deal.
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.
Sam Amick on Utah: “Listen, my understanding of Utah’s situation is that they’re as much of an open shop as there is in the league right now. Whether it’s Derrick Favors or Rodney Hood or even Ricky Rubio, they want to turn the page. They want to maximize Rudy Gobert’s prime. … Utah is going to look at everything right now. They obviously don’t feel like they have their core and they’re trying to figure things out. But yeah, I think Rodney gets moved. I think Derrick will draw decent interest. And the Rubio one, I didn’t know what to make of it. But if they are truly open to parting ways with Ricky, I think he’d have a good market too.”
Utah’s trip to Philips Arena Monday to face the Atlanta Hawks came at just the right time as Favors is rumored to be on the trading block. “It’s always great to come back to Atlanta. I love it,” Favors said. “It’s just a relief from everything. Just being out of Utah, going through the season. Going through the trade rumors and stuff, it’s just a relief to come back to see family, see your friends, see your support system, to be back in Atlanta, which I love being in. It feels great.”
That being said, Jazz players acknowledge they have to be better at tuning out the outside chatter. If anything, the Jazz want to use the uncertainty to galvanize them. Favors said he’s taken to creating diversions for himself. He plays video games. He watches television. He tries to stay off social media. “We can’t pay attention to it,” Favors said. “We have to let them do all of the talking, the reporters, the fans, the people on twitter. We can’t pay attention to it. We see it. Everyone has their trade ideas. But for me, I try not to pay attention. If [a trade happens] it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I’m going to play hard regardless.”
NBA players are usually adept in tuning out rumors. They know it comes with the territory. There’s a business side to playing in the league and they know it. Social media? Outside chatter? It usually doesn’t bother them. For the Jazz, it has been a little more difficult. With the NBA’s trade deadline three weeks away, Utah’s roster could change — perhaps dramatically — in the near future. Derrick Favors knows he may be traded soon. Alec Burks, Joe Johnson, and even Rodney Hood, have all been identified as possible trade pieces in recent reports. The uncertainty, the injuries, the losing have taken a toll. The Jazz locker room has not been an especially happy place in recent weeks, and some of that unhappiness has seeped onto the floor. Simply, it’s tough to have multiple players on a team mentioned in trade talk and not have a residual effect.
That being said, Jazz players acknowledge they have to be better at tuning out the outside chatter. If anything, the Jazz want to use the uncertainty to galvanize them. Derrick Favors said he’s taken to creating diversions for himself. He plays video games. He watches television. He tries to stay off social media. “We can’t pay attention to it,” Favors said. “We have to let them do all of the talking, the reporters, the fans, the people on twitter. We can’t pay attention to it. We see it. Everyone has their trade ideas. But for me, I try not to pay attention. If [a trade happens] it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I’m going to play hard regardless.”
After Wednesday’s shootaround in Sacramento the Atlanta, Georgia native said it’s not hard to tune out the gossip. He’s still a member of the Jazz at this point and it’s simple as that. Nothing else matters. “I just don’t pay attention to it,” Favors said. “I let everybody do their talking, the reporters, the fans, the Twitter people. I let them do all their talking. I really don’t pay attention to it.” Sure, he sees the trade scenarios. In this day and age, it’s hard not to notice what’s being said, with all the current updates and chatter right at your fingertips through smartphones. “I tune it out. I see it. Sometimes I am on Twitter or social media. I see it,” Favors said. “Everybody has their trade ideas, what should happen and this and that. So, I see it but I just don’t pay attention to it.
Andy Larsen: Mirotic can't be traded until Jan. 15, so despite y'all's conspiracy theories about why both he and Favors are out tonight, it isn't that. FWIW, I heard yesterday that Mirotic to Utah was more of a past-tense discussion that could be revisited rather than talks that are ongoing.
Stuck in their worst stretch of the season, the Jazz may be headed for a roster shakeup. The Salt Lake Tribune has confirmed that Utah is engaged in talks with the Chicago Bulls on a deal that would bring power forward Nikola Mirotic to Utah. Jazz forward Derrick Favors has been discussed as a potential piece that would go to Chicago, according to multiple sources.
The Jazz received several inquiries for Favors at the trade deadline last season, but never received an offer that enticed the franchise to move the 6-foot-10 big man. If a team decides to pursue a veteran and versatile frontcourt player still entering his prime, Favors is one of the market’s top options. He’s now in the last year of the four-year contract extension he signed in 2013 and has concrete value around the NBA as teams work to monitor his circumstances as the season progresses. But for now, Favors is determined to keep helping the Jazz. “I let my agent, Wallace Prather, talk to Utah and talk around the league, I just focus on myself,” he said. “I’m aware of the talks, and the value I have, but I just focus on the opportunity I have now, and I know I can help whichever team I’m playing on in this league. I’m not taking the opportunity in front of me for granted.”
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.”
"Utah's paid Rudy [Gobert] $100 million," Prather told The Tribune. "And Rudy deserves every cent of that contract. They are going to have to pay Gordon a max contract, and he deserves every cent. It's going to be difficult to commit to a $300 million dollar frontcourt.” “We're not upset at all," the agent added. "This is just the business side of things, and this is just the reality of where we're at."
Agent Wallace Prather does not anticipate his client Derrick Favors being traded before the deadline, based on Prathers' knowledge of the offers the Jazz have received. However, Prathers said he realizes that could change as the deadline approaches. Favors, 25, has had his production slip this season as he has dealt with a knee injury but remains a key piece for a Utah team preparing for a playoff berth.
Utah is all-in to keep Gordon Hayward, but they also need to shed some salary before their army of young players ink pricey new deals. They've tested the market for Derrick Favors over the last few weeks, according to several league sources; Favors hasn't been quite the same since coming back from injury, and Utah plays Favors and Rudy Gobert together for only 10 or 12 minutes per game.
It’s fair to expect the Jazz to gauge Millsap’s interest in a Utah homecoming once free agency opens up July 1, as a few have reported. But don’t make too much of reports that the Jazz could be looking to move forward Derrick Favors to make room for a Millsap return.
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