Faith in Favors

Photo: Melissa Majchrzak NBAEPhoto: Melissa Majchrzak NBAE

The flood gates have opened. The first of many (hopefully) contract extensions that should happen in the next couple years took place over the weekend when the Jazz extended the contract of young power forward Derrick Favors. Though the terms of the deal weren’t announced, the 22 year-old will reportedly get $49 million over four years.

Favors, the center piece of the the blockbuster Deron Williams trade earned this type of money? Not yet. But he will. His contract isn’t outrageous, but it also isn’t known whether or not the ultra-athletic, potential-filled Favors will turn into the All-Star that everyone envisioned three years ago when he was drafted 3rd overall out of Georgia Tech.

This contract is based on a future. Not a past.

The signs show that Favors will be dominate on the defensive end. (If he stays out of foul trouble.) He’s a Tyson Chandler prototype who already has a more polished offensive game. It was a contract the Jazz had to do. If not now, they risked having to pay even more for Favors if he hit the restricted free agent market. And everyone knows that NBA teams love to overspend on any big man who looks the part. cc: Kwame Brown, Jerome James, Darko Milicic, etc.

While Favors hasn’t put up the numbers that other players from his draft have, he also hasn’t had the playing time. Coming off the bench behind Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap most certainly hurt Favors’ stock.  However, his per 36 minutes stats for the last two seasons are incredibly encouraging. He averaged 14.6/14.9 points per game, 11/11.1 rebounds per game and 1.7/2.6 blocks per game respectively. Numbers that warrant a contract of this nature.

“Utah has become my home and I am excited to be able to continue my career playing for the Jazz and the best fans in the NBA,” Favors said. An absolutely encouraging sign for any Jazz fan who has had to suffer through the fear that star players will always leave for bigger markets. Also, the reasoning behind trading Williams in the first place.

The Jazz will have to plan accordingly as their young team develops. They will have to pick and choose which youngsters are worth it, and which aren’t. Otherwise, you get into a situation like Oklahoma City where it’s not possible for everyone to stick around.

Players like Alec Burks may end up being the odd man out while the Jazz think about the future of even younger players like Trey Burke or a future first round draft pick. But they had to start somewhere, and Favors was the logical choice for a franchise that is trying to return to glory.

So with that said, get ready Gordon, you’re next.

Posted in Featured Writers