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2019 NBA Free Agency: New Orleans Pelicans trade for Derrick Favors from Utah Jazz

Zion Williamson knows who is going to start at center beside him now.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans found a starting center beside Zion Williamson on the trade market, and Derrick Favors is on his way to the Crescent City from the Utah Jazz. As I dreamed just five days ago, David Griffin has targeted the soon-to-be 28-year-old big man to fill the obvious hole at center.

Every box David Griffin was looking for in an acquisition at that position of need, I think Favors will check except for outside shooting. Favors is a monster on the glass, a superb rim protector, an excellent finisher on offense, and a nine-year veteran with one of the most consistent franchises in the league. Jrue Holiday, Lonzo Ball, Zion Williamson, and Derrick Favors should present an excellent defensive core. Alvin Gentry cannot build a team that is going to get out in transition unless they get the stops necessary to initiate ending possessions on defense.

The exact compensation going out has not yet been fully reported. I expect the outgoing salary to be minimal or even zero, centered on a second round pick or two. Utah was motivated to make this move after adding Bojan Bogdanovic in free agency, they had to trade (or waive) Favors to make the necessary cap space for Bogdanovic’s contract.


The Pelicans ended up trading the 2021 and 2023 second round picks received from Golden State (in exchange for the 39th pick the Warriors used on Alen Smailagić) to acquire Derrick Favors.

It is possible the Pelicans are nearly done in free agency with the additions of JJ Redick and Derrick Favors. Summer League tips off on Friday and Zion Williamson will take the floor in prime time.

Let’s Dance.