The New Orleans Pelicans acquired Derrick Favors for this offseason and Favors is set to bring value to the Pelicans in multiple ways.
The New Orleans Pelicans underwent a roster overhaul this offseason that has produced a young, exciting team that has every Pelican fan excited for what is to come. Getting Zion Williamson definitely helped, but everything the Pelicans did otherwise was also excellent.
There are two notable veterans that the Pelicans brought in this summer. The first being J.J. Redick, who agreed to a two-year contract with New Orleans. The other being Derrick Favors, who was acquired from the Utah Jazz for two second-round picks that the Pelicans had acquired from the Golden State Warriors.
Favors is not as big of a name as Redick but there are just as many reasons to be excited for the veteran big man to be in New Orleans. First and foremost, he adds size to the team and will be the team’s outright starting center, barring any setbacks.
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This is great for the team as the other centers on the roster are young and inexperienced. Favors not only present a veteran option to start for the team but is going to bring that veteran insight and help bring the best out of Jaxson Hayes and Jahlil Okafor.
Offensively, Favors is one of the most efficient players in the pick and roll and having that in his arsenal is going to make him a consistent weapon in the Pelicans’ offensive playbook. There are going to be nights where Favors leads the team in scoring because of his picks and off-ball movement.
However, there is also an unthought-of value that Favors brings to the team that most people are likely overlooking. Depending on his play and the status of the league, Favors could absolutely be a trade chip for the New Orleans Pelicans to use.
As long as Favors is having as good of a year as he has the last few years then there is undoubtedly going to be teams knocking on the Pelicans’ door for his services. It is inevitable that some contender will be looking to add a pick and roll big man to their roster for a playoff push.
And with Favors being an expiring contract, he does not provide any long-term commitment, meaning these teams do not have to buy into an ugly contract. This could also be used to free up contracts as well, as the Pelicans might look to trade half a season of Favors for another year and a half of a bad contract.
We see this all the time in the NBA and there will undoubtedly be an avenue for Favors to be traded. This would allow the young centers to learn under him for half a season before turning the starting role over to Jaxson Hayes, who should be capable by then as he was one of the best centers in the draft this year.
If it lines up perfectly for the Pelicans, it is not crazy to think that they could get a late first-round pick for Favors. There might be a team that is set to pick, say, 28th that is willing to trade that pick for a title run.
That would give the Pelicans more draft stock and ammunition for the future, all for one half-season of Favors that would not have made any sort of difference in the long-term.
The New Orleans Pelicans should not trade Derrick Favors for the sake of trading him. However, if the opportunity presents itself, you bet David Griffin and company will jump all over it.