The Oklahoma City Thunder kept their noses in the NBA Draft with two major trades on Thursday. It took a paltry six hours for them to wiggle their back into the transaction report.
As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Oklahoma City Thunder will acquire Jazz center Derrick Favors and an unspecified first-round pick in exchange for a 2027 second-round pick. Utah will receive the least favorable of four second-round picks as part of the deal.
Derrick Favors, age 30, provides the Thunder with veteran leadership, and, as of now, immediate minutes at the five. Favors averaged 5.4 points and 5.5 rebounds in 23.2 minutes per contest last season, and with himself being the sole center on the roster — he’ll be getting playing time, barring any roster changes. As a leader, Favors fills in the gashes of last season’s voice George Hill as Favors is the longest-tenured player on the roster. He’ll be entering his twelfth season in the league.
For the Utah Jazz, the decision to move Favors had much to do with financial reasons. Favors is under contract on contract for two more seasons making close to $20 million collectively, Utah couldn’t keep up the price. In making this deal, Utah dished out a future first-rounder as a gift for taking on Favors’ contract. Utah is expected to seep below the luxury tax following this transaction.
This move helps put the icing on the cake to what has been a clamorous two-day stretch within the Thunder. With the expectation of the Thunder consolidating draft picks to slide into the Top 4 or late lottery, Sam Presti pulled a reverse card. Once this pending trade becomes official, Oklahoma City will have accumulated more first-round picks in the Draft (3), than they selected (2).