Mar 16, 2014; Greensboro, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Jabari Parker (1) shoots as Virginia Cavaliers guard Justin Anderson (1) defends. The Cavilers defeated the Blue Devils 72-63 in the championship game of the ACC college basketball tournament at Greensboro Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Cost Of Jabari Parker For Utah Jazz: Derrick Favors?

Derrick Favors is an almost unanimous choice for best current player on the Utah Jazz. After the ping pong balls didn’t fall the way the Jazz had hoped, what are they willing to do to move up for a potential franchise player in the 2014 NBA Draft? Reportedly, that cost could be Derrick Favors plus the number five NBA draft pick for Jabari Parker.

Certainly Jazz fans will be split about this. The NBA draft is anything but certain, and Favors sells a massive amount of jerseys, second only to Gordon Hayward, most likely (official figures are not released, but just look around the EnergySolutions Arena), and Parker will have his fair share of haters due his Mormonism alone, fair or not.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are reported to be courting Euro phenom coach Dave Blatt — who, I’ll be completely honest, I would have loved to see as Utah’s head coach. That isn’t to say I don’t like the Quin Snyder hiring. Indeed, I feel like he’s a great fit for where the young Jazz are now, and for the next 2-4 years.

As for the Cavs, I can’t help but feel like Dan Gilbert has continued to search for short-term solutions for success since he lost LeBron James in the South Beach Fiasco. Is he really committed to a long-term rebuild, or is he content to keep adding flashy bits to the cheap, boxed wine colors he flaunts on his team’s jerseys?

Losing Favors will be a hard pill to swallow for Jazz fans and Derrick himself; after never feeling comfortable in New Jersey, the team who originally drafted him, he’s felt like a cornerstone of the future here in Utah, even buying his first home in Salt Lake overlooking downtown, where he works (worked?).

Favors was slated to be a defensive force as anchor last season, something that never quite materialized — the Jazz finished at or near the bottom of defensive ratings by anyone’s metric. But it took Favors two thirds of the season to figure out how to stay on the floor and be effective at defense at the same time, without getting into foul trouble. And while he surprised on offense, that may not be enough for Dennis Lindsey to keep him as a Jazzman.

Could it be that Lindsey saw enough from Rudy Gobert to believe he will be the better D-anchor the franchise so desperately and vocally craves? If rumors are to be believed, he’ll have to be. Lindsey recently expressed a desire to add less youth and more veterans to the Utah Jazz.

His intention may be to add an experienced, defensive-minded vet to the team until such a time as Gobert also learns to stay on the floor and be an efficient defender at once.

As much as Dennis Lindsey respects the Jazz, and as much as we may love Derrick here in Utah, Favors was never a Lindsey piece of the puzzle. Greg Miller intimated to me the details of the Deron Williams-Derrick Favors trade. It was Greg’s idea to dump the All-Star, who was increasingly vocal and on the last year of his contract, for Derrick Favors and multiple assets that Kevin O’Connor then turned around into various pieces now on the current Jazz roster (as well as some that have moved on).

The point being, Lindsey really has no attachment to any of the current Jazz pieces aside from Trey Burke. Indeed, the new Jazz GM has made his mark already with the hiring of Quin Snyder, telling fans in no uncertain terms that, sure, he hears your wishes, but you know who is in charge.

It’s a gambit, if the rumors are to be believed, one that may or may not pay off. But if pundits are to be believed, this is the year to take that gamble.


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