Derrick Favors may not return to Utah.
The 27-year-old forward is “fielding calls from interested teams as if he will be an unrestricted free agent” this summer his agent, Wallace Prather, recently told The Athletic. Favors’ $16.9 million contract for 2019-20 becomes guaranteed on July 6.
Favors “will have a robust market” if the Jazz do not pick up the option, according to The Athletic.
“I have a team option; I need that option picked up. I would prefer to come back here,” Favors said after the season, via The Salt Lake Tribune. “The grass is not always greener on the other side. … I’m happy in the situation that I’m in, in the position that I’m in — I think it’s good for me and the organization.”
Favors averaged 11.8 points and 7.4 rebounds in 23.2 minutes per game with the Jazz last season. He has been with Utah since 2011.
Jazz executive vice president Dennis Lindsey said the team “absolutely” wants Favors back.
“There’d be no playoffs this season without Derrick, no playoff advancement the two previous years,” Lindsey said. “Derrick Favors isn’t part of the problem, he’s part of the solution.”
The Jazz earned the fifth seed in the Western Conference after finishing the season with a 50-32 record. They fell to the Rockets in five games in the first round.
Utah acquired Mike Conley Jr. from the Grizzlies earlier this month in exchange for Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, Grayson Allen and two picks.
“It’s a very well-constructed roster with great guys, coaching, and the whole way it meshes I think is perfect. The system there is perfect,” Conley said this week. “We have young talent … we have some great vets there, and a lot of young guys that have already done great things. We’re excited. I’m very excited to get a new challenge, a new opportunity, and a new home.”
The Jazz are reportedly interested in Tobias Harris and they could pursue him if they create salary cap space.