Gerald Herbert/Associated Press
The New Orleans Pelicans will reportedly try to re-sign Derrick Favors, a potential unrestricted free agent after the 2019-20 NBA season, but they’re expected to receive competition from the Utah Jazz if the power forward hits the open market.
“I will say that there’s some interest there. I would say, both ways,” Jones said about the Jazz and Favors, who spent eight-plus seasons in Utah from 2011 through 2019. “… I know that the Pelicans want him back. I don’t know that they want him for a four-year deal, but certainly like a two-year deal while Jaxson Hayes matures.”
Utah traded Favors to New Orleans last July for a pair of second-round draft picks. He’s in the final season of a two-year, $37.6 million contract.
The 28-year-old Georgia Tech product has enjoyed a solid season as a complementary member of the Pelicans’ rotation. He’s averaged 9.2 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game while shooting 62 percent from the field across 45 appearances.
As Jones alluded to, Favors’ future in New Orleans is likely tied to the development of Hayes, the eighth overall pick in the 2019 draft. He’s averaged 7.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in 56 games as a rookie.
If the Pelicans move in a new direction, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Atlanta native made a return to the Jazz his top priority. He spoke about his desire to remain with the organization before last year’s trade.
“Not too many guys can play for one franchise, one organization, eight-plus years. Hopefully it can be nine, 10 years for me,” Favors told reporters. “… I’ve been here with a good organization—same coach, same system, same front office. It’s been a blessing. I’ve enjoyed my time here; hopefully it can continue.”
Favors’ versatility as a traditional 4 or a small-ball 5 would allow him to fit alongside either Rudy Gobert or Royce O’Neale in the frontcourt, depending on the matchup.
He’d probably generate interest from other teams beyond the Jazz if he does become a free agent, though.