Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz
Oh, what could have been. Derrick Favors has made himself into a good pro basketball player.
As soon as he was taken off the board by the New Jersey Nets at the 2010 NBA Draft, he had one foot out of the door. The Nets, of course, would find themselves striking out during one of the most important free agencies in the history of the league.
To calm the pressure from the front office and fans, the Nets would soon trade Favors and Devin Harris to the Jazz for Deron Williams and Mehmet Okur. The rest of course is history.
But during his short 56 games with the Nets, he showed glimpses of his double-double ability. In a Nets jersey, at 19 years old, he averaged 6.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in about 20 minutes per game.
He hit double-digit rebounds five times and was building a great chemistry with Brook Lopez as a good low-post duo.
Of course, Derrick Favors was not the Nets’ first choice in the 2010 NBA Draft. The Nets had their sights on the prize of that year, John Wall. However, the lottery balls did not bounce their way. Favors was a project, but a safe choice for the Nets at No. 3 obrtsll.
Despite getting desperate phone calls from Wesley Johnson and weighing the benefits of having a DeMarcus Cousins alongside Lopez, the Nets seemed to get a raw player with a great skill set that could make him a very valuable player on any NBA teams.
In Utah, Favors was given space to grow. He has built his career as a role player. He is the low-post banger that can give you a double-double when called upon. Last season, he became just the 12th player to play 500 games with the Jazz.
In his eight years in Utah, he has averaged 12.1 points and 7.4 rebounds a game. Now that the Jazz have found a defensive anchor in Rudy Gobert and a good stretch big man in Jae Crowder, Favors may find himself coming off the bench sooner than later.
Despite lacking a 3-point shot, Favors has still logged an average of about 12 points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes a game. He is still only 27 years old, so expect to hear from him for a couple more years. The Nets definitely will, when they play Utah next week on Nov. 28.