Derrick Favors isn’t pushy. He’s not unreasonable. He doesn’t mind coming off the bench. But he wants his minutes, and he wants them now.
In an interview with the Deseret News, the Jazz forward made it pretty clear he’s ready to have the training wheels taken off.
“I want to play more than what I played last year,” Favors admitted. “If it’s starting, cool. If it’s coming off the bench, cool. I don’t mind. I just want to play more. I don’t want to sit on the bench no more.”
The issue, naturally, is that the Jazz have forced themselves into a position where they have all these big men. For years, they’ve claimed this was a gift, not a curse, that it allowed them flexibility, depth, and options. But the problem is that eventually the younger guys are going to want minutes that the Jazz can’t provide by taking them away from the established players like Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap.
But there’s an easier solution, here.
Favors, Millsap, and Jefferson played just 110 minutes last season over 10 games, and were +30 in those games. There are obviously lineups where you can’t throw that combination out against and expect to survive. But in today’s position-flexible NBA, that’s not a bad option to have and implement on a regular basis. Favors is fast and athletic enough to hang with the more modern NBA small forwards, and the size on the other end gives them an advantage. They were +29.6 per 100 possessions with that trio, and that’s a pretty great number, even if it is a terribly small sample size. It might be worth exploring more.
But with Paul Millsap’s free agency looming on the horizon, consider this piece of information a potential bit of foreshadowing.