He'd love to pattern his game after what he saw out of Dwight Howard when the big man was a mainstay for the Orlando Magic. But not, as he laughed with the media, the disgruntled Howard that fans saw struggle last season as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.
"Coming out there, being aggressive from the jump ball ... imitate how Dwight was in Orlando — affect the shot, block the shot, get the rebound and start the fast break, beat your man down the court and get a dunk," Favors said of Howard and some of the league's other defensive-dominating big men.
"Those are the type of things those guys do and I try to watch them and just learn from them — not the Dwight in L.A.," he smiled. "The Dwight in Orlando was a monster; hopefully, he'll get back to that."
Forward Jeremy Evans missed Friday's practice with a strain of his right rotator cuff. He will travel with the team but is doubtful for Sunday's preseason game at Oklahoma City. Guard Lester Hudson, battling a sprained left ankle, also sat out Friday's practice and will be a game-time decision Sunday. Rookie center Rudy Gobert also missed Friday's practice so he could go see a doctor about his sore left shoulder.
"He understands that we may grow him into [that role]," Corbin said. "I don’t know which way we may go with that yet. We’ll see. But he gives us punch off the bench because he can put the ball in the hole."
"If that’s my role, I’m going to do the best of my abilities," Burks said.
Since then, however, Burks has started twice in three preseason games for the Jazz, and Corbin said he could start Burks at point guard early in the season depending on the matchup.
"It may be at times, because of his size, we start him at point," Corbin said this week. "[John] Lucas is a smaller guy. Scott [Machado] is a smaller point guard also. So against some points it may be better to start Alec. … We have to figure out those things as we go forward. As I told the guys ... everybody has to be ready to go."
Whether he starts or comes off the bench, minutes should not be in short supply. Through four preseason games, only starters Hayward, Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors have logged more time on the court than the 22.8 minutes a night Burks is averaging.
And if Wednesday’s game against Portland is any indication, Burks will see time on the floor with the Jazz starters. Corbin used Jefferson for about 10 minutes at the start of each half, before bringing Burks off the bench. Down the stretch, Corbin left Burks on the floor with Hayward, Favors and Kanter to finish out the game.
Burks will have to be better than his 1-for-13 shooting on Wednesday, but Corbin said he has been impressed with Burks’ progress since last season. The guard spent part of his summer in Washington, where he trained with John Stockton. Burks also spent time working out with teammates at the P3 training facility in Santa Barbara.
"I lifted a lot more than I did last summer, got stronger," Burks said. "That’s going to help me a lot when I go to the rim."
Burks also brought an added confidence into this season.
"He’s a confident guy," Favors said. "He comes out there, he thinks he can score on everybody. He’s a confident guy, man. His confidence going to a new level now that he’s got a new role."
The Utah Jazz have signed Derrick Favors to a multi-year contract extension. The 6-foot-10 forward-center averaged career highs with 9.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.69 blocks in 77 games and eight starts last season. He had nine double-doubles. Bradenton.com
Steve Luhm: GM Dennis Lindsey on getting Favors' extension done: "We had a willing and motivated partner in Derrick and [his agent]." Twitter @sluhm
Steve Luhm: Derrick Favors thanks Miller family for his $49M extension. Thanks everybody else, too, including media. Clearly he is deliriously happy. Twitter @sluhm
"Sometimes players can be mistaken and think that a contract allotment like this gives them freedom," Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said. "As you guys all know, this comes with huge expectations."
Considering he hasn't really improved I'd be worried about this!
Favors averaged 14.6 points and 11 rebounds per 36 minutes last season. In his eight starts, he averaged 10.1 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 2.25 blocks in 27.3 minutes.
While Favors’ offensive game must still develop, the Jazz front office believes he can be an elite defender, with Lindsey making comparisons to New York’s Tyson Chandler and Chicago’s Joakim Noah.
"Very rarely will you get a 6-10, 260-pound young player saying, ‘Hey, I’m a defender. I’m a rebounder. Build the defense around me. That’s what I want,’" Lindsey said. "So if he can be our Bill Russell, we’ll be very, very pleased."
The Jazz had until Oct. 31 to sign Favors to an extension or allow him to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Forward Gordon Hayward, Utah’s own first-round pick in 2010, is facing the same deadline and is still in talks with the Jazz.
"It’s part of the business," coach Tyrone Corbin said. "Gordon understands it. His situation is what it is. There’s talks ongoing and hopefully things get worked out. But he understands. He’s happy for Derrick. … And we love both guys and we hope everything will work out that we can keep [both] guys here."
Favors, who said he was bothered by trade rumors during his rookie season in New Jersey, has made it clear he enjoys Salt Lake City and called the deal "a dream come true" and a "big relief."
"The main thing I like about Salt Lake City, man, it’s peaceful," he said. "It’s not loud. There’s not a lot of stuff going on. It’s peaceful. You go home and get a peace of mind. That’s the main thing I like. That’s why I bought a house out here, because I hope to make this my home. I hope to retire here."
He added, "I don’t have to find more boxes to move no more."
The Jazz are already high on Favors’ defensive capabilities, but the big man still has a ways to go offensively. The Jazz are encouraged that Favors has increased his scoring average each year — from 6.8 points a game as a rookie, to 8.8 the next year and up to 9.4 last season — and team officials believe he’ll continue to develop as a scoring option.
But his shooting % has went down with the more shots he's taken. Probably because they are giving him anything away from the rim because he rarely hits them.
But that is not the priority right now, Lindsey said.
"We’ll let the offense kind of define itself," Lindsey said. "He’s still 22. Literally, I’m scouting 22-year-olds right now in college and internationally"
Financially, the reported deal places Favors somewhere between Milwaukee’s Larry Sanders and Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, two post players drafted the same year. Cousins, the No. 4 overall pick in 2010, signed a four-year max extension earlier this year that will pay him a reported $62 million. Sanders, a center the Bucks took with the 15th pick, signed a four-year $44 million extension.
"I never thought I would sign something this big," Favors said.
The Atlanta native said the news hasn’t quite sunk in with his mother yet.
"I called and told her and she said, ‘OK. That’s good,’ " Favors said with a laugh. "It’s probably going to hit her in a minute, but it hasn’t hit her yet."
Corbin has been pleased with his defense so far, but wants to see an improvement on the offense this week.
“We need to make sure we get better with the offense and be more potent in what we’re doing offensively,’’ he said.
Do they have the pieces to get much more potent is the question?
“We have to continue to get better on defense. We’ve done a pretty good job of communicating and understanding where we are, from the beginning of camp. But now the offense has to catch up a little bit and we got to make sure we won’t have the lulls we’ve had scoring on the offensive end.’’
Easier said than done with the kiddie corp.
JAZZ NOTES: Toward the end of Jazz practice Saturday morning, the fire alarm at the Zions Bank facility began blaring and didn’t stop for 25 minutes. A small accident in the kitchen near the court was doused with a fire extinguisher, but there was enough smoke to set off the alarm. … The Jazz took 18 of their 19 players on the trip to Oklahoma City. Injured Marvin Williams and Brandon Rush both went, but rookie Trey Burke stayed home. … Jeremy Evans, who sat out of practice with a strained rotator cuff injury, is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game. Rudy Gobert, has a sprained shoulder and didn’t practice Saturday and is listed as day-to-day. … Point guard Lester Hudson, who has a sprained ankle, is cleared to play, while Scott Machado, the other backup point guard, has a “lower abdominal contusion” and will be a game-time decision.
Jazz played a much defensive game then they did the last few times out. In practice the other day they drilled rotations and more rotations and it was noticeably better in today’s game then it had been in the past few outings.
Scoring points is going to be tough right now. It is a cool story that our current two point guards played each other in China but it also means that recently our two points were playing each other in China.
Lucas and Hudson were a combined 1 for 9 tonight. We are asking a lot out of them to handle this role, Lucas has started 2 games in his entire NBA career and Hudson thought he was out of the league this year.
It's called tanking.The signing of Lucas to anything other than a 3rd pg made it all too obvious.
The amount of energy Gordon Hayward is exerting in a night is vastly different than what he was asked to do a year ago. I see some tired moments out there right now. He will get used to it but he is carrying a mammoth load on the offensive end. Tonight he was 6 of 14 but 2 of them were halfcourt bombs at the buzzer so he was really 6 for 12 for 18 points. He also had 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 turnovers.
Favors did a nice job staying on the floor and out of foul trouble and his defense was great. Let’s love him for what he is, a great defender and rebounder, rather than hate on him for what he is not right now, a strong offensive player.
Advanced stats – The first and third quarter offense was really poor, 66 pts per 100 possessions in the 1st quarter and 79.8 in the third quarter. You need to be over 100.
They were close!
Defense was good other than the 3rd quarter where the defensive rebounding disappeared allowing the Thunder to grab 42% of their misses.
Enes Kanter has to do a better job on the defensive glass.
Strange as good as he was as a rookie.
I still have no idea who is making this team and I would keep an eye on the waiver wire because it could be someone not on the roster.
Or a trade. I'd say Hudson and either McGuire or Holiday if no moves are made to start the year anyway and than possible changes when they get some guys healthy.
Ian Clark is 13, a point guard is #14 and not sure if we keep #15. Not a lot of spots.
A lot of spots compared to most teams. Need another wing I'd think with Marvin and Rush out.
I vowed I would not become concerned about a player in the pre-season. Same way I will not pronounce a player as taking the next step in the pre-season so I am reserving judgment on 5 for 25 shooting slump.
The True Cost of Signing Jamaal Tinsley. There have been rumblings that the Jazz are kicking the tires on re-signing Jamaal Tinsley:
Jamaal Tinsley's agent confirmed there's mutual interest between the point guard and Jazz, but added, "There's nothing going on right now."
— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) October 16, 2013
Jamaal Tinsley's agent, Raymond Brothers, says there is a "mutual interest" in his client's return to the Jazz.
— Steve Luhm (@sluhm) October 15, 2013
Ignoring the basketball arguments for or against this move for a moment, I've seen some discussion that the Jazz should just keep one of their younger (*cough* cheaper *cough*) training camp invitees instead. The NBPA has actually foreseen the potential for ageism in player signings due to the fact that older veterans earn more on their minimum salary contracts than younger players do.
Take for example Scott Machado. If he makes the Jazz roster this year then he will be scheduled to earn a minimum salary of $788,872. Alternatively, the least the Jazz can pay Jamaal Tinsley as a 10+ year veteran of the NBA is $1,399,507 (almost double).
In order to prevent teams from shying away from signing guys like Tinsley, the league has put into place a rule that compensates teams the difference in salary of a 2nd year minimum salary player ($884,293 for 2013-14 season) and that player's actual minimum salary. Thus, if the Jazz sign Tinsley to a minimum deal they will only be out of pocket $884,293 (only $95,421 more than Machado is scheduled to earn) with the league covering the tab for the additional $515,214. Further, the Jazz are only booked with a cap charge of $883,293 as well.
Ultimately, I think the greater issue in regards to a Tinsley return, is whether a 35 year old PG who has pocketed $42MM+ in his NBA career wants to relocate back to Utah and potentially play only a month or two just to be waived when Trey Burke returns from his injury.
I'm guessing they won't go for Tinsley. It will either be Hudson or someone else.
Does Ian Clark's $200k Guarantee Make Him a Roster Lock? This summer after a stellar summer league performance, the Jazz inked Ian Clark to a two year minimum salary contract which reportedly contains a $200,000 guarantee for 2013-14. This sunk cost has many fans, including myself, speculating that this will likely lead to Clark making the final roster cuts. The logic being that since the team has already invested that $200,000, why not keep him around and make him earn it?
While the Jazz never release contract details, we can speculate on a few things and make some assumptions on how long Clark might be around. First off, due to the 2-year duration of the contract, we know that Clark did not agree to a standard training camp contract which requires an "Exhibit 9 - One-Season, Non-Guaranteed Training Camp Contract". It is also reasonable to speculate that Clark's reported $200,000 guarantee is for "Lack of Skill" (in addition to other guarantees like injury, death). This means that even if Clark is underperforming, the Jazz cannot simply waive him and avoid the $200,000 guaranteed obligation.
Accordingly, with a 172 day league calendar in 2013-14, Clark essentially earns $2,850 ($490,180/172=$2,849.88) for each day he is on the Jazz roster. This means the Jazz have essentially guaranteed his contract for the first 70 days of the season ($200,000/$2,850=70), or until January 6, 2014. Coincidentally enough, the leaguewide date when all NBA contracts guarantee for the remainder of the season is January 10, 2014, which date requires teams to waive any such players it wishes to not guarantee for the remainder of the season by January 7, 2014. Coincidence? I don't think so.
In sum Clark's summer league play bought him a roster spot until January 7th, at which time the Jazz can either choose to waive him without spending another penny, or guarantee the remainder of his rookie salary.
At this point it looks like he'll be cut come January.
Andre Miller a Jazzman? Yesterday Yahoo! NBA reporter Mark Spears joined ESPN 700's Bill Riley to discuss NBA and Jazz basketball. I was unable to catch that interview myself, but this little nugget came across my timeline:
.@SpearsNBAYahoo really likes the idea of bringing Andre Miller to Utah. Says Denver would gladly take on some expiring contracts from Utah
— Jazz Nation (@WeAreJazzNation) October 16, 2013
Just the day prior I was speculating on my timeline that the Jazz should do something like this (Andre Miller for Marvin Williams) to resolve their current PG problems.
Don't get me wrong, I do not expect the Jazz to make any move such as this to replace Trey Burke in the near or longterm. Rather, my line of thinking is simply that the Jazz have appeared lost on offense through the first 4 pre-season games and adding a veteran PG with the savvy of an Andre Miller, would do wonders to further the development of the remaining healthy starters. Ultimately, when Burke is back he'll start again (right Ty?), but having a floor general to direct traffic now is key. And no, John Lucas III is not a floor general.
I'd love to see it and maybe if he was an expiring contract they'd do it but they don't want to win games ultimately nor take on money past this season.
Ice packs on both knees protruded from under Richard Jefferson’s sweats as he sat court side at Chesapeake Energy Arena, following shootaround Sunday morning.
But the 33-year-old Utah Jazz forward insists his knees "are great."
"This ice thing is a new thing for me," Jefferson said. "We’ve been having some longer practices than vets are accustomed to."
It’s a sign of where Utah is as a team right now.
"What we’re doing is expected," he said. "You have a young team, whose roles are expanding. When you have a veteran rearm that’s used to playing in May and June, you come in with a different mindset. You come in with: ‘Hey. Let’s get in shape. Let’s get healthy. Let’s get ready for that long haul.’ This team is more: ‘Let’s set the tone. Let’s start establishing great habits as we move into the future.’"
Good. Longer practices. They need it.
After being hampered by injuries last year, Jefferson said he feels "as strong as I’ve felt in a long time." He weighs 230, which "probably the lightest I’ve ever started a season," and he’s been doing new exercises that have helped his back.
"Last year for me was a very difficult year," said Jefferson, who — playing for Golden State — averaged career lows in minutes played and points scored. "So I look forward to the opportunity to play someplace else and kind of re-establish myself as a quality player."
So far, Jazz coach Ty Corbin has used Jefferson both in the starting five and off the bench.
Asked which role he prefers, Jefferson offered up another veteran response.
"I love everything coach does," he said with a smile. "I think we have a mutual understanding and respect. If he asks me to do something, he knows I’m going to give 100 percent effort, without ego. … Whatever he wants my role to be I’m going to embrace it."
Eighteen of the 19 guys on Utah’s preseason roster made the trip to Oklahoma. Only rookie Trey Burke, who is out at least three weeks with a fractured finger, stayed behind.
Brandon Rush (knee) and Marvin Williams (achilles) still haven’t been cleared for contact, but Corbin said the two wing players can benefit by staying with the team on the road.
"As we have time to get guys on the floor, they are actually on the floor and can do things," Corbin said as Williams worked on jumpers during shootaround. "They’re limited in what they can do, but they’re around their teammates and they’re able to do some therapy with [trainer Gary Briggs] and those guys."
Jazz guard Lester Hudson missed a day of practice earlier this week with an ankle sprain but saw some significant minutes against the Thunder.
He played almost 13 minutes and scored four points as he continues his bid to make the Utah roster.
Hudson said his ankle injury, though, is no longer an issue. His biggest concern was missing a day of practice, which he feared could set him back.
“It’s tough,” Hudson said. “I didn’t want to take the day off, but you always want to be healthy out there. I’m 100 percent now.”
Jeremy Evans (rotator cuff), Rudy Gobert (sprained shoulder) and Scott Machado (lower abdominal contusion) did not play due to injuries. … Backup forward Andris Biedrins played 11 minutes and grabbed one rebound before fouling out.
Way to use your fouls Biedrins. Jerry must've been happy. Rotator cuff could be bad?
“I think our defense is coming along and I think our defense is ahead of where the offense is,” he said. “We’ve got to find ways to get the ball in the basket, though. You want a combination of the two sides together.”
Got to run off of the defensive stops I'd think is going to give them the best chance of some easy buckets.