Utah Jazz: Foul Trouble Is Hindering Derrick Favors' Development

Joshua J Vannuccini@@jjvannucciniSenior Analyst IIIFebruary 26, 2013

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 09:  Derrick Favors #15 of the Utah Jazz takes a free throw against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on November 9, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Jazz 104-84. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

It's safe to say the entire league assumed the Utah Jazz would trade either Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap or both. Surprisingly, they moved neither player while young talent remains untapped on the bench. One such prospect is Derrick Favors.

Drafted third overall by the New Jersey Nets in 2010, Favors has shown flashes of promise but has failed to deliver consistently. Much of it is to do with playing time, yet the majority of the blame falls on Favors.

The 6'10" forward is an athletic shot-blocker, averaging 1.1 rejections for his career. It would seem, like most young players, he is unable to do so without fouling. Mastering the art of shot-denial is no small feat, and it will take time for Favors to get comfortable as a major contributor first.

He is receiving 21.9 minutes per game this season, stuck behind the duo of Jefferson and Millsap. He and reserve center Enes Kanter will one day form the frontline of Utah's future, however it is difficult to determine when that time will come. 

While it may seem like a far cry that Favors would be in less foul trouble with more court time, it is more so the fact that he would not be concerned with contributing as intensely knowing his role as a starting player.

In the aforementioned time Favors has had in the rotation, he's picking up 3.2 fouls per game. He's had five fouls in each of the Jazz's last four games, however his foul rate has risen exponentially as the season has gone on.

He had 2.7 in November, 3.0 in December, 3.3 in January and finally 3.9 in February. Much of this month's high average has to do with the infamous streak Favors is on, however it still points to something he must work on.

Favors has a great deal of talent and potential, and has an advantage as most of the league seems to have forgotten him. He's only started 38 games in his career, and the general consensus surrounding a player drafted that high is that they are a star right away. 

The big man has not filled such expectations but certainly has the tools to do so. All great shot-blockers go through such a stage of development. Let's hope Favors' ends sooner than later.

All statistics sourced from espn.com/nba/statistics.