Utah Jazz Trade Rumors: Derrick Favors Out, Lou Williams In
NBA front offices are up all night this week and it’s no different for the Utah Jazz, who are rumored to be interested in a number of moves.
The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching and the rumor mill is constantly churning in some capacity. It’s either busier than downtown L.A. on a Saturday night or quieter than a Sacramento Kings pre-game ticket booth.
DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans went from rumor to reality in a matter of hours, while Jimmy Butler’s name has been rotated around potential teams gathering dust for months.
There’s no rhyme or reason for this time of year.
Every quote and leak is meticulously over-analyzed. We do that despite most of the rumors being regurgitated conversations between two teams that have already agreed there is no deal to be made.
The Utah Jazz, as quiet as they usually are, are no different with two separate rumors being reported as the 3 p.m. EST deadline on Thursday nears.
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Zach Lowe wrote that the Jazz are exploring options to trade Derrick Favors. The walking-wounded power forward has looked a shadow of his former self this season as he battles to overcome his dodgy knees.
Averaging just 9.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, the Jazz aren’t going to get equal value in return for Favors, given the capabilities he’s shown when healthy.
On the back of 16.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game during the 2015-16 season, the market for an injury-plagued big isn’t going to be booming, especially with a number of other healthy big men on the market.
It seems a strange path for the Jazz to go down knowing they still have a full season to evaluate Favors before his contract expires and he becomes eligible for a new deal starting at just more than $30 million a season.
“Utah’s seriousness on Favors is unclear; they are mum as usual, and they don’t want to weaken their team ahead of the playoffs with Hayward heading to free agency.”
It would have to be a hellacious phone call triggering a move that improves the Jazz today and doesn’t impact their abilities to re-sign their young players in the future.
There haven’t been any names placed alongside that of Favors yet which suggests the phone calls from Salt Lake City are falling on deaf ears.
While a move involving Favors is unlikely, ESPN New York’s Ian Begley provided some trade chatter that is a little more plausible.
Begley reported the Jazz have an interest in acquiring Los Angeles Lakers guard Lou Williams.
Some members of the Utah Jazz front office have expressed interest in trading for Lakers guard Lou Williams: https://t.co/cllSFbu4zD
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 21, 2017
The first reason this is possible is the Lakers have every reason to ship Williams. With their 2017 first-round pick top-three protected, they need to lose enough games to ensure they don’t send the pick to the Philadelphia 76ers.
With Williams accounting for the most win shares in the team as well as being their best performing player on a favorable contract, he’s expected to be on the move.
His fit with the Jazz remains questionable.
As a ball-dominant guard who does little else other than score, how he slots into an offense so dependent on moving the ball to the right areas on the court is a mystery.
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Assuming the Jazz were receiving this current version of Sweet Lou, it would change up how the bench unit currently plays.
The pace at which Williams plays is far and away quicker than any Jazz player this season; his 30 percent usage rate is higher than Gordon Hayward’s (27.5) and he shoots 12.7 times a game. which would be good for third in the team behind George Hill (12.9) and Hayward (15.6).
The changes that either Williams or the Jazz bench would need to make are a risk coach Quin Snyder might not be up to taking heading into a long-awaited postseason.
The Jazz aren’t yet at the point where they need to be forcing the issue and looking for ways catch the teams ahead in the standings. Their natural ascent to championship contention is on a steady path that doesn’t need a risky boost.
The Jazz might not be overly active themselves but front office phones are ringing all over the NBA and Adrian Wojnarowski’s Twitter notifications are on.
It’s safe to assume the Jazz will settle for what they have and not be forced into any sudden moves, but if this time of year has proved anything over the years, it’s to expect the unexpected.