Update: Favors has reportedly been traded from the Utah Jazz to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Dewayne Dedmon is headed to Sacramento and, with that as the backdrop, the Atlanta Hawks could be in the market for a starting-caliber big man. Though a scenario certainly exists in which the Hawks choose to roll with John Collins, Alex Len, Omari Spellman, Bruno Fernando and Miles Plumlee in the frontcourt, a report emerged on Sunday evening tying the franchise to the potential pursuit of Utah Jazz veteran Derrick Favors.
A list of teams who have expressed interest so far in Derrick Favors: Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings, Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) June 30, 2019
At this stage, Favors remains under contract with the Jazz, which would explain (at least in part) why he has not been heavily discussed as a potential target to this point. However, Utah reportedly invested a big-time deal in Bojan Bogdanovic and, in order to make that happen, the Jazz could turn to a move to shed Favors from their salary cap sheet.
Making things even more interesting is the fact that Favors’ contract is set to expire after the 2019-20 season, with a $17.7 million figure currently on the books. However, Favors’ deal is completely non-guaranteed until July 6, meaning that the Jazz could simply elect to part ways with the 27-year-old if they cannot find a taker for his salary in the near future.
At present, the Hawks could not take Favors into cap space, as they don’t quite have $17.7 million to work with as constructed. Atlanta could theoretically send a smaller contract (DeAndre’ Bembry’s $2.6 million deal would work, for a completely unreported example) to Utah to make the numbers work, though, and the Hawks would presumably continue their reported interest in the event that the Jazz elect to simply waive Favors.
Favors has a well-documented local connection, starring at South Atlanta High School and Georgia Tech in his youth. Beyond that, Favors is a quality, starting-caliber player at this stage, averaging 12.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game over the past two seasons. While that raw production will not blow anyone away, Favors was limited to only 25.6 minutes per contest in the last two years, playing alongside Rudy Gobert but not in anything approaching a perfect circumstance.
There are a lot of moving parts in play, both with Favors’ contract and the presence of additional suitors, but a talented, efficient, two-way big man would certainly look good alongside Collins, Spellman, Fernando and Len in Atlanta’s frontcourt.