2018 NBA free agency: Why Jazz agreed to pay Derrick Favors $18 million next season
Utah is sticking with the two-big plan
Free agent big man Derrick Favors has agreed to re-sign with the Utah Jazz on a two-year contract worth more than $36 million, according to Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania. The eight-year veteran met with the Jazz for three hours on Sunday, per ESPN's Marc Spears.
As soon as DeAndre Jordan agreed to a deal with the Dallas Mavericks, Favors staying in Utah seemed like the most likely scenario -- there simply aren't many teams out there looking for a starting-caliber big man. In a normal offseason, though, he would have had plenty of suitors because he's coming off his most efficient season. Favors averaged 12.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 28 minutes while shooting a career-high 56.3 percent in 2017-18.
By bringing Favors back the Jazz have (sort of) committed to a frontcourt composed of two traditional big men, a choice that is unpopular in today's NBA. Favors and Rudy Gobert worked well together last season, though, and they have always been an imposing defensive duo.
The reason I said they only "sort of" committed? This reported deal is only for two years, and the second year is not guaranteed, per the Salt Lake Tribune's Tony Jones. That also is a big part of why Favors will make $18 million, which likely is higher than what the open market would have bid for the big man. If the Jazz front office decides over the next two seasons that a stretch four would work better, Favors could walk after next season or be traded anytime before his deal locks in. That non-guaranteed second season makes him an attractive trade target around this year's deadline and next year's draft for teams looking to be a part of next summer's free-agency bonanza.
In the meantime, the Jazz have themselves a solid, two-way starting power forward who can capably back up Gobert at center, too. Even if you view the per-year salary as an overpay in this team-friendly market, it is hard to criticize them for re-signing a player who is entering his prime and has been an important part of their recent success.
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