Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors has had a nice but not stellar NBA career. He came over from New Jersey in the trade that sent Deron Williams out of Utah--and the Jazz into a perpetual spin-out that resulted in Kevin O’Connor being relieved of his duties as general manager as Dennis Lindsey came over from San Antonio to take his place.
It is time for Lindsey to reprise his role of used car salesman once again--and trade Favors as reported to the Cleveland Cavaliers for their No. 1 pick at the 2014 NBA Draft--presumably for Duke star Jabari Parker. After all, that’s why the Jazz brought Lindsey here from the Spurs--so that they could see how a small market team actually puts the pieces together to win championships.
Not long after Lindsey started wheeling and dealing, the same fate that happened to O’Connor took place for Tyrone Corbin -- who was also relieved of his duties (read: fired in a nice way) as Jazz head coach. In other words, Favors is part of that rebuilding process which Jazz fans--and frankly, Jazz brass--would now like to forget ever happened.
Favors is part of a murky team experiment that before Lindsey arrived brought not only Favors but also Devin Harris, a journeyman NBA point guard who was supposed to have been the team’s answer to Deron--but wasn’t. And before long, Harris was also sent packing--yet Favors remained, he of that 14 point, 9 rebound career scoring average.
Favors will never be an All-Star in Utah. In fact, he may never be an All-Star in the NBA--but don’t tell that to Paul Millsap, who took his double-double scoring and rebounding average to Atlanta and in his first year in the city became an All-Star.
There is a very important distinction when you talk about Jazz players, past and present. One, are they young? And second, are they one of Dennis Lindsey’s guys? Because if they aren’t, you can count on them being traded or moved out for some important puzzle piece. Of all the players remaining from that Deron Williams trade to New Jersey which O‘Connor orchestrated--not Lindsey--the only one left is Favors.
Favors is not a pure scorer
As impressive as Favors is in the paint, he is not Paul Millsap. His career averages don’t even come close to what Millsap--or even Carlos Boozer--averaged in their primes for the Jazz. Averaging just nine points and about seven rebounds throughout your five-year NBA career does not an NBA career make. It’s even possible Favors surpasses his 13-point, nine-rebound average from 2013--a career-high at that--but it’s not guaranteed.
Favors is not a rebounding machine
It seemed like everyone thought Favors was going to be a walking double-double--and even more--like his Jazz predecessor, Carlos Boozer. Favors hasn’t even come close to the numbers Boozer had while he was in Utah. In fact, Favors fourth season with the Jazz marked the first year he’s cracked the eight-rebound plateau--let alone double figures in scoring.
Favors doesn’t do what Jabari can
Favors can shoot the basketball fairly well at a 50 percent clip in his career but he can’t shoot the three point shot--and he’s only shot one trey in his entire NBA career. He can’t even score 20 points per game on a regular basis--and most important is he hasn’t ever averaged over 13 points in either college or the pros. On the other hand, Parker has been a scoring machine, averaging over 20 points per game in high school and at Duke--and can shoot the three--but his defense needs work, though. That said, Lindsey and new head coach Quin Snyder--a Duke alum--are capable of helping the 6-8 Parker fix his defense.
Favors probably won't bring Utah an NBA title
There, it’s been said. And based on past experience with Favors, the statement is true. In five years in the NBA--and four with the Jazz--Favors has never lived up to the expectations of being a No. 2 draft pick. Only now is he actually scoring in double figures--and even then, his work on the glass needs more work. In order for the Jazz to hoist an NBA title, it may take more than just grabbing Jabari at No. 1--but trading Favors to get in position to take Jabari is an awfully good beginning to what will likely be a lengthy, painful process back to respectability.