Derrick Favors has averaged 16.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.8 blocks per game since Rudy Gobert's injury. Favors is in a contract year and ready to prove he's back from his injury issues.
“It was frustrating at first the past year or so dealing with the up-and-down role and minutes, but I’ve stayed confident,” Favors told The Vertical. “I’ve put the time in and that has helped me stay motivated with myself. At the end of the day, I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity and hold it down while Rudy was out. I’m taking advantage of the opportunity and showing everyone that I’m healthy. I want to prove to everyone that I’m the same guy. I’m 100 percent. I’ve been feeling healthy all summer and into the season, and I’m the same player.
“I’m going to continue to play at this level. Rebounding, defending the paint and being able to provide offense. I have a chip on my shoulder, I could sense people were writing me off …
Favors is still just 26 years old after entering the NBA in 2010.
“I’ve grown a lot over my career, understanding how I can impact the game and play to my strengths,” Favors told The Vertical. “Since I’m able to play both frontcourt positions, that allows me to man the five and play with Rudy, too. I know I can bring our team a lot of value being able to space the floor, defend bigger fives and fours, pick-and-pop. I want to fill my role and show that I’m the same player I have been when I’m given the chances.”
Teams work to monitor his progress ahead of the 2018 offseason.
“I let my agent, Wallace Prather, talk to Utah and talk around the league, I just focus on myself,” he said. “I’m aware of the talks, and the value I have, but I just focus on the opportunity I have now, and I know I can help whichever team I’m playing on in this league.
“I’m not taking the opportunity in front of me for granted.”