All signs continue to point toward 21-year-old big man Derrick Favors as a major centerpiece of the Jazz’s future.

Utah Jazz, Paul Millsap talking extension

While Favors crisscrossed Utah this week, strengthening his bond with fans by visiting remote towns as part of the annual Junior Jazz program, initial contract negotiations quietly began between the small-market organization and longtime power forward Paul Millsap.

The sturdy six-year veteran was offered a three-year extension worth about $25 million, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned, which is the maximum extension Millsap can receive under the new collective bargaining agreement. The proposed deal features an annual 7.5 percent raise, would kick in after Millsap’s current contract expires June 2013, and could keep the career Jazzman in a Utah uniform through June 2016.

Initial indications are Millsap won’t agree to the extension, though, preferring to enter free agency in 2013 with plans to cash in on an inflated 2012 market that saw mid-tier forwards such as Gerald Wallace, Andrei Kirilenko, Nicolas Batum and Ryan Anderson recently receive lucrative multiyear contracts.

– Reported by Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune