The NBA trade deadline hits Thursday afternoon and the Phoenix Suns continue to be connected to rumors around the league.
While Phoenix GM Ryan McDonough wasn’t able to put together a deal to land Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins, who ended up in New Orleans, he might not be done trying to engineer a deal.
According to Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune, the Suns have interest in Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors.
Even through he has been dealing with a nagging knee injury throughout the season, Favors is still considered important to the success of the team, so it is less likely that the Jazz part ways with him. Still, Utah has been willing to listen when it comes to Favors, who is on a team-friendly contract through the end of next season.
Favors is owed around $12 million next season and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2018. There is no mention of what the Suns might be willing to part with to acquire Favors.
The former third-overall draft pick (New Jersey, 2010) is still only 25 years old but is in his seventh NBA season and sixth in Utah. He’s averaging 9.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game this year — down from his 2015-16 numbers of 16.4 points and 8.1 rebounds.
Zach Lowe of ESPN also wrote about Favors in terms of the trade market.
Utah is all-in to keep Gordon Hayward, but they also need to shed some salary before their army of young players ink pricey new deals. They’ve tested the market for Derrick Favors over the last few weeks, according to several league sources; Favors hasn’t been quite the same since coming back from injury, and Utah plays Favors and Rudy Gobert together for only 10 or 12 minutes per game.
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. Favors is still an important player. They could be testing the market ahead of a trade around the draft.
As Lowe points out, the Jazz may be gauging interest for the future. After all, Favors is still a rotation player on a Utah team that is 35-22 at the All-Star break and in solid position for a playoff spot for the first time since 2012.
In his career, Favors is averaging 11.2 points and 7.2 rebounds while shooting .509 from the field.
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