3. Derrick Favors, PF/C – $10.2 million
Lastly, we’ve got another prime buyout candidate, Derrick Favors, who was essentially salary-dumped to the Oklahoma City Thunder a couple of seasons ago after playing over a decade in Utah. Which resulted in the Jazz being able to re-sign Mike Conley without taking a hit in luxury tax.
Now, if I’m being completely honest, Favors feels like the most likely buyout scenario for the Denver Nuggets, even if it’s not the most exciting. He plays for one of the worst franchises in the NBA and he plays a position that the team he’s playing for just added more depth to in rookies Chet Holmgren and Jaylin Williams.
With such a young nucleus of talent, chances are that Favors will get even less playing time in 2023, and certainly won’t be a part of Oklahoma City’s future. He also just turned 31 years old and has yet to win an NBA championship since getting drafted third overall back in 2010.
With $10.2 million owed to him next season, I would be shocked if any team felt the need to match this amount, meaning that he too should make it through waivers unscathed. At which point the decision would be his to make, would he rather sit at the end of the bench for a championship-ready team like the Warriors or Celtics? Or would be prefer to make an impact as a meaningful backup for an organization on the cusp, like the Denver Nuggets.
At this point in his career, I doubt Favors cares all that much about money and instead about winning a title. Although, I also don’t think he would want to simply ride the bench on route to his first ring. Leaving Denver as the best option if and when the time comes.
Similar to the argument for Kevin Love, the Denver Nuggets have very little depth in the frontcourt. Outside of Zeke Nnaji and DeAndre Jordan, the team really just has athletic forwards who can play spot minutes at the four or five, but certainly not full-time.
Favors may no longer be in his prime, but it was only a few years ago when we saw him average more than 11 points, 7 rebounds and a block per game in just over 20 minutes of action. Above all else, his rebounding and defensive versatility would be a major bonus for a contender in need of a reserve big like the Denver Nuggets.