Derrick Favors seeks to return to the NBA with the Chicago Bulls

After a year away from the NBA, Derrick Favors is making his comeback on the basketball court this season in Chicago.

The experienced center recently signed a training camp contract with the Chicago Bulls. Head coach Billy Donovan announced that Favors will join the Windy City Bulls, the Bulls’ G-League affiliate, for the 2023-24 season.

Coach Donovan expressed his admiration for Favors, emphasizing their previous experiences together in the Western Conference when Favors played for the Utah Jazz. Donovan believes Favors’ presence as a veteran will greatly benefit the team.

It’s been a while since Favors last set foot on the court, with his last game being on February 24, 2022. This serves as a reminder of how quickly a player can fall out of an NBA roster, despite high expectations when they enter the league.

Standing at 6-foot-9, Favors was an incredibly promising talent in the NBA. He was selected by the New Jersey Nets as the third overall pick in the 2010 draft. Favors made his debut in the league at the age of 19 and eventually became a regular starter after being traded to the Utah Jazz.

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Although Favors didn’t quite live up to the expectations set by his high draft selection, he still had a significant impact during his 10 seasons with the Jazz. Despite not making an All-Star appearance in his seven seasons as a starter, Favors helped lead the team to the playoffs five times, reaching the Western Conference semifinals but no further. In 2021, he became the franchise’s 10th all-time scorer.

In 2019, Favors began his journey across different teams, starting with a trade to the New Orleans Pelicans. After re-signing with Utah in 2020, he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2021. Favors spent most of his first season with the Thunder on the bench before being traded to the Houston Rockets in September 2022, only to be waived less than a month later.

For the past year, Favors has been fighting to secure a spot on an NBA roster. He recently signed a 10-day contract with the Atlanta Hawks in January but didn’t see any playing time during that short stint.

Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan shoots as Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors defends during Game 1 of a first-round playoff series on April 15, 2017.

During Tuesday’s preseason game against the Toronto Raptors, Favors did not dress and is expected to spend time with the Windy City Bulls. However, success stories like Carlik Jones, who earned a full-time contract with the Bulls after winning the G-League MVP award, demonstrate the potential path into the NBA that the team can offer.

The Bulls were without key guard Alex Caruso in Tuesday’s game. Caruso had injured his ankle during practice earlier in the week. The decision to hold him out of the game was a precautionary measure by the training staff, considering Caruso’s history of injuries. Caruso prioritizes recovery and offseason strength training to avoid injuries, as evidenced by his personal-best 67 games played last season.

The team aims to have Caruso back in the lineup for the final preseason game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday.


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