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Derrick Favors expected to exercise $10 million player option with Thunder

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Derrick Favors will exercise $10 million player option with Thunder
USA Today Network

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.

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.

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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