I’m in trade rumors every year. I'm used to that, man. If I’m not in trade rumors, you know, I’m kind of like, 'Why am I not in trade rumors? Something must be wrong.' —Derrick Favors
SALT LAKE CITY — Derrick Favors was solid, as usual — especially his monstrous dunk late in the fourth quarter — but his stat line of six points, seven rebounds and one block didn’t jump off the page in the Jazz's 106-94 win over Charlotte.
"I don't think his line necessarily reflects his impact," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "It's good to see the work he's put in. He's an important part of our team and has been for the last month, two months, three months, and he remains that."
That last phrase was key.
The big news regarding Favors wasn’t what he did or didn’t do in this game. It was that he was on the court wearing his familiar No. 15 in a Jazz uniform after his name had been bandied about before Thursday’s trade deadline.
Favors actually laughed when asked about his name coming up in trade talk. It's happened before. In fact, the 6-foot-10 power forward started hearing his name in rumors after being picked by New Jersey third overall out of Georgia Tech in 2010. That season, the rumors became reality, as he was traded to Utah, but it's just been hot air and wasted pixels since then.
"I’m in trade rumors every year. I'm used to that, man," Favors said, smiling. "If I’m not in trade rumors, you know, I’m kind of like, 'Why am I not in trade rumors? Something must be wrong.'"
Favors was so unconcerned, he slept in almost until the 1 p.m. MT trade deadline on Thursday. He woke up at about 12:50 p.m. after sleeping in his own bed for the first time since Utah returned from a 4-0 road trip in Memphis, New Orleans, San Antonio and Phoenix.
News had long surfaced about the three-way trade that sent Rodney Hood to Cleveland and Joe Johnson to Sacramento in exchange for Jae Crowder (and the right to waive Derrick Rose).
"I missed all of it," he said. "I was sleeping. I was getting my rest, man."
Favors also joked about seeing which players he'll supposedly be traded for every year.
"I look forward to it every year," he said. "I like it. I have fun with it."
Favors was prepared to pack his bags and head elsewhere this year. He was ready to make the best of whatever happened.
"It could have went either way with me," Favors said. "Like I said before, if I’m still here I would be happy. If I would've been traded, it would have been the same way. It didn't really matter to me."
Here's what does matter to Favors: working hard, remaining healthy, winning.
"One of the things this group has done over the past two to three weeks is they've just done their job, and Fav maybe more than anyone," Snyder said. "I'm not going to comment on speculation and things like that about those things, but I can say rosters are something — it's the NBA, there's always evolution."
Snyder certainly won't complain about still having an athletic and powerful two-way force on his team. Favors is averaging 12.3 points and 7.2 rebounds, and his chemistry with The Stifle Tower is on the rise.
"Favors is someone we really value and Dennis (Lindsey) feels the same way," Snyder said, referring to the Jazz GM. "He's been someone that's performed at a high level for a long time. He's fought off some injuries, and I think we're seeing a guy that is focused. He's fun to play with."
Favors wished his best to Hood and Johnson as they continue their careers elsewhere, and he had good things to say about Crowder. He likes that the incoming versatile forward guards multiple positions, can spread the floor and brings toughness.
"He can bring a lot to this team," Favors said. "We’re looking forward to whenever he can play."
The Jazz — and their fans — are happy they can say the same about him the rest of the season.