It sounds like Derrick Favors is doing the Oklahoma City Thunder a favor. Late afternoon on Tuesday, the 12th-year NBA veteran said, “I expect to be back here next year. And, yeah, I’ll probably pick it up.”
As a free agent, on Nov. 20, 2020, the center signed a three-year, $29.2 million contract with the Jazz. For this season, Favors earned $9,720,900. If he does exercise his player option, the veteran is set to make $10,183,800 for the 2022-23 season.
Derrick Favors said he expects to pick up his player option and be back in OKC next season.
— Joe Mussatto (@joe_mussatto) April 12, 2022
However, his performance has steadily declined over the years. In the 2021-22 regular season, the 30-year-old averaged 5.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and nearly 1.0 assist per game in a total of 39 games played. So, is he overpaid? It looks to be the case here.
Favors averaged a career-high 16.4 points per game in the 2015-16 season with the Jazz. On Dec. 5, 2015, in the Jazz’s 122-119 overtime win, he scored a career-high 35 points against the Pacers. Also, Favors averaged a career-high 9.8 total rebounds per game with the Pelicans in the 2019-20 season.
Since then, he has served more as a veteran mentor for younger players. His offensive role is limited, especially when compared to his 2013-16 statistics. For a lot of teams, there is nothing wrong with that plan. But, over $10 million for low contributions is a highway robbery.
Jazz traded Derrick Favors to the Thunder
Furthermore, on July 30, 2021, the Jazz traded Favors and a 2024 first-round draft pick to the Thunder in exchange for cash and a 2027 second-round draft pick. How does any of this benefit Oklahoma City? Well, Favors could be used in a packaged trade soon.
Nonetheless, his market value is low right now. On Mar. 31, the veteran was ruled out for the remainder of the season due to lower back soreness. A player who doesn’t take care of his body at his age will be high-maintenance for any team willing to take a risk.
Of course, the Georgia native was selected third overall by the then New Jersey Nets in the 2010 NBA Draft. The Thunder are the center’s fourth team of his professional playing career.