SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Hours after the 2021 NBA Draft concluded, which included a trade from the Utah Jazz to get back into the selection process to pick former Baylor goalie Jared Butler, the team has treated longtime center Derrick Favors to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Favors and a future first-round pick were sent to the Thunder in exchange for a future second-round pick. The move is widely viewed as salary cap dumping by the Jazz, freeing up additional cap margin for further moves this offseason.
Last season, Favors averaged 5.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 15.3 minutes in 68 games in favor of Rudy Gobert.
This is the second time Favors has been traded by the Jazz, who sent the 30-year-old to the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2019 offseason. Favors returned to Utah ahead of last season in a reduced role on a $ 27 million contract over 3 years.
The Jazz are trying to make room for the salary cap to re-sign unrestricted free agent playmaker Mike Conley. According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Jazz are preparing a three-year, $ 75 million offer to Conley, who has been with the Jazz for the past two years.
Favors was a central figure in a 2010 trade that brought the big man to Utah in a deal that sent former all-star goalie Deron Williams to the then New Jersey Nets. The former Georgia Tech star has become a valuable contributor to Jazz and has spent much of his time in Utah as the starting center for the team. With the emergence of Rudy Gobert as an elite defender, Favors saw his role diminish, but was often hailed as an excellent and strong-willed teammate.
Utah’s 2020 first-round pick Udoka Azubuike, who played a limited number of minutes for the NBA’s top regular-season team, could see his playing time increase as a result of the decision. Or the Jazz could bring in another great man in free will.
For his career, Favors has averages of 10.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.