Utah Jazz: Favors accepts bench role in preseason opener
Oakland, Calif. • Derrick Favors spent the offseason honing his game against the best players in the world. He entered camp last week surrounded by questions of whether he would supplant Paul Millsap as the Utah Jazz's starting power forward.
The answer: Not right away.
Favors, the third-year player acquired by the Jazz in the Deron Williams trade, came off the bench Monday in the Jazz's preseason opener at Oakland.
Favors let out an amused laugh when asked if he took the reserve role as a challenge.
"No challenge," he said. "We both support each other, we're both teammates, he's starting and I'm just supporting him. I'm comfortable."
Favors spent part of the summer training with the U.S. select team, playing against the team that won a gold medal at the London Olympics. Last season for the Jazz he averaged career highs 8.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
Conventional wisdom says that the young, athletic and developing Favors will eventually have to replace Millsap, whether that means moving the career Jazz player either to the bench or another team.
However, any indications of what Monday's decision means for the future should be taken with an ounce of caution and consideration. During the team's Monday shootaround at the Olympic Club in downtown San Francisco, Corbin said the lineup in place for the first preseason game was subject to change.
He reiterated that point Monday night.
"It's the five that gives us the chance to win going forward," he said, "but we'll see where things fall."
Utes as Warriors
Two former University of Utah stars play for the Warriors, but only one was available Monday night.
Former Utes guard Carlon Brown, who finished his career at Colorado, was added to the Warriors roster before training camp. After a week of practice and one game, the Riverside, Calif., product has impressed coach Mark Jackson.
Brown scored one point in six minutes of garbage time in the Warriors' 110-83 win against the Lakers on Sunday night in Fresno. Center Andrew Bogut, the former No. 1 pick who also played at Utah, has not played in the preseason as he continues to rehab from ankle surgery.
Brown is unlikely to make the Warriors roster, but Jackson said he had a message for Brown and other training camp invitees who played Sunday.
"At the end of the day, like I said to them, somebody's always watching and you give yourself an opportunity to not just make this team, but to make a living somewhere," Jackson said.
Hornacek stays home
Assistant coach Jeff Hornacek did not travel with the team to Oakland for Monday's game because of what Corbin called a family issue. Corbin said he did not know when the former Jazz star would return to the team.