Utah Jazz: Derrick Favors looking strong in summer workouts

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

After being sidelined for much of last season, Derrick Favors looks like he could dominate for the Utah Jazz in the 2017-18 season.

The J.J. Watt-style activity coming out of Derrick Favors‘ Instagram account (@_Dfavors15) makes for good viewing if you’re Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey.

Not only is he taking “no days off,” but one video, in particular, will be making Lindsey and Mike Elliott, the new vice president of performance health care, exceptionally happy.

Knee issues limited the 26-year-old to just 50 games in 2016-17; he came off the bench 39 times. Producing his career-best season a year prior, the injuries couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Favors only managed 9.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game compared to 16.4 points and 8.1 rebounds in 2015-16. He was a shadow of his former self — a player that was mentioned by some as a potential All-Star. 

As he hobbled from one end of the court to the other, his numbers suffered. The pain was evident and fans watching on TV could almost feel it themselves. Slow jogs up and down the court and next to zero lift when challenging for rebounds saw his minutes drop from 32 minutes per game in 2015-16 to 23.7 minutes per game in 2016-17.

Only a few weeks ago I wrote about the need to curb expectations for Favors going into this season. Afterall, bodies the size of his have a history of suffering recurring injuries, especially when it comes to knees.

Related Story: Utah Jazz showing faith in Hood ahead of 2017-18 season

As he runs through the sand and around the cones in the below video, Favors looks fit, healthy and most importantly, mobile. After a season where Favors resembled more of a wounded deer than an NBA basketball player, this comes as good news.

According to therunningbug.com, running on sand is a “natural assault course” and helps in “stabilising muscles in the knees, ankles and feet to work harder.” The fact Favors is at a level that he can push his body ahead of the regular season offers up some hope we see a much-needed improvement from the 265-pound big man.

More from Hoops Habit

His health will have a significant impact on Utah’s season as they look to negate the loss of Gordon Hayward with another playoff appearance. The 22-point void the Jazz need to fill every night will need to feature Favors if they are to overcome the All-Star small forward’s departure.

Favors is in a contract year and knows if he’s not producing in a manner that helps the team more than it did in 2016-17, his name will begin to pop up around the trade deadline.

His $11.7 million expiring contract is an exceptional trade chip. If the Jazz find themselves in a position to move in a different direction, they’ll explore options to use it.

The NBA is a business; Favors knows that. If the team is better off without him, he will be out the door. Likewise, if his recovery is developing as well as his socials are making it out to be, the Jazz will be first in line to re-sign him when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2018.

Next: The 50 greatest NBA players of all time (updated, 2016-17)

Utah’s season opener on Oct. 18 is fast approaching and it won’t take long to see how Favors’ body has responded to these summer workouts.