Derrick Favors’ defense earned him the payday.
The Utah Jazz made no bones about that in October, when they signed the fourth-year big man to a four-year, $49 million extension. As general manager Dennis Lindsey tries to build a winner in Salt Lake City, Favors, a 6-foot-10, athletic rim protector, was to be the anchor of his defense.
So when questions about the other half of Favors’ game came up, Lindsey wasn’t worried. The offense would "define itself" in due time, he said.
Twenty games into the season, and due time might pass sooner than most expected. Favors’ offensive game looks more polished than it ever has, as he averages a career-best 13.7 points a night, the second-highest scorer on the Jazz.
"He’s worked his butt off to continue to get better," Jazz coach Ty Corbin said, "and he’s made some moves this year that he couldn’t make last year."
The 22-year-old spent most of his offseason in Salt Lake City, working with his coaches, developing "my face-up game, jump shots,...