Derrick Favors -- the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft -- just turned 29 years old July 15.
Before reading that sentence, you might have thought the 10-year veteran was 32 or 33. Nope.
So should he be high on the list of players the Warriors might target with the taxpayer mid-level exception (scheduled to be around $6 million) this offseason?
In a vaccum, the answer is "definitely." But there are myriad variables to consider.
First and foremost, it's very possible that he will command a bigger payday when free agency opens in October. Favors is making around $16 million this season with the New Orleans Pelicans, who possess his bird rights and can offer him more than Golden State.
But it's always important to remind yourself that given the uncertainty surrounding the financial ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic, there is a chance his market -- with New Orleans or any other team -- shrinks. If his bigger-money offers come from lottery-bound teams, he could decide to take less with the Warriors for a chance to compete for a championship.
And if all goes according to plan, he could parlay a successful 2020-21 season with Golden State into a bigger contract next summer when, hopefully, there is more clarity with the NBA's economics.
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So why would the Warriors be interested in Favors? Mainly because he's a very good defender who can protect the rim/paint, and handle his own on the perimeter in pick-and-roll situations. At 6-foot-9 and 265 pounds, Favors -- who is averaging a career-high 9.9 rebounds in just 24.2 minutes this season -- can match up against the NBA's bulkier low post threats.
"You still have to have a roster that allows you to deal with the big 5s who are out there," coach Steve Kerr told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami in March. "And we absolutely will address that."
Offensively, the Warriors -- with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins onboard -- wouldn't ask Favors to rack up a lot of points. He doesn't need a bunch of touches or shots to have an impact, yet is very efficient when he gets opportunities. Favors is shooting a terrific 62 percent on 2-pointers over the last three seasons combined, and does the overwhelming majority of his damage in the paint.
Unfortunately, he is not a threat from beyond the arc. Favors tried adding the 3-point shot to his game his final two seasons with the Utah Jazz, but just made 31 of 141 attempts (22 percent). He is 1-for-7 from deep this season.
Kevon Looney and Marquese Chriss also are not 3-point shooters, so the front office might be hesitant about adding another big man who doesn't provide floor spacing.
But in the end, if (and it's a big if) Favors is rocking a Warriors uniform next season, that would be a good thing for the Dubs.
Derrick Favors, on his dirty-work mentality: "I can do a lot of things — I can rebound, I can score, defend. … I do a lot of stuff guys don’t want to do. That’s my role. … Some people call it garbage work — you can call it whatever you want to call it; I take pride in it." pic.twitter.com/i3KKlnz6DQ— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) March 17, 2019
Yeah, he and Draymond Green would enjoy playing together.