Derrick Favors Rumors: Jazz C Expecting to Become Unrestricted Free Agent

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2019

Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, in Denver. The Jazz won 111-104. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Utah Jazz big man Derrick Favors "will enter the free-agency period fielding calls from interested teams as if he will be an unrestricted free agent," his agent, Wallace Prather, told Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. 

According to Charania, Utah has until July 6 to decide whether to waive Favors or fully guarantee his $17 million salary for 2019-20.

The third overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft, Favors started his career with the then-New Jersey Nets but only played 56 games for the franchise before he was traded in February 2011. He has spent the last eight-plus seasons in Utah.

Favors is coming off yet another solid performance in 2018-19, averaging 11.8 points on 58.6 percent shooting. The 6'10", 265-pound forward-center added 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.

His availability has been just as important as his production. He has missed just 11 regular-season games over the past two seasons.

While Favors has been a key part of the Jazz's three consecutive trips to the playoffs, he carries a hefty price tag. As a result, Tony Jones of The Athletic tweeted Monday that it's "not a lock" Favors will be back in Salt Lake City next season:

"Derrick Favors isn't part of the problem," Jazz executive Dennis Lindsey told Jones earlier this month. "He's part of the solution. Of course we want to bring him back."

The non-guaranteed salary is part of the two-year, $36 million contract he signed last offseason.

"I've prepared myself mentally that maybe I'll have to be on another team and in another city," Favors said, per Jones. "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."

With uncertainty surrounding Favors' situation, a market has yet to fully develop. However, Jones reported the Los Angeles Lakers would be interested, as the big man's "style of play would be a nice fit with LeBron James."

If Favors has played his last game in a Jazz uniform, he told Jones his top priority would be "to go somewhere I can compete for a championship," as he has yet to make it beyond the second round of the playoffs after nine seasons in the NBA.