Tony Jones, one of the Tribune’s Utah Jazz beat reporters, will answer questions submitted on Twitter each week in his Jazz mailbag. Here are this week’s questions and answers.
Quin Snyder is leading the Jazz to the playoffs without Gordon Hayward. Larry Krystkowiak took the Utes to third in the Pac-12 without Kyle Kuzma and won coach of the year in the conference.
Who is better?
I think both are great coaches. I think they both are excellent tacticians. Both clearly are special at player development. Here’s the (small) difference: Snyder, in my mind, is one of the top five coaches in the NBA. Larry K obviously is one of the top three coaches in the Pac-12. The NBA is bigger than college basketball. So Quin wins by a hair.
I still think there’s a big chance Derrick Favors is playing elsewhere next season, but I understand why Jazz fans are clinging to hope that Favors is back. Simply put, this has been his best season since 2015-2016, when he played at a near All-Star level. His athleticism has allowed him to finish at the rim with ease. He’s been great defensively with the second unit. Heck, he’s even hit nine 3-pointers this season.
The issue is that other teams see that, too. Favors without a doubt is a starting center in the NBA, so someone is going to shell out money to pay for that kind of quality. And if that happens, the Jazz are going to have to go another direction. They can’t commit that kind of money to someone they essentially can’t play in the last five minutes of games. There is a chance the market is dry this summer. If that happens, there’s a small chance he stays. But I think Favors is going to leave the Jazz in free agency.
I’m sure they would like to, but I don’t think anyone wants his contract, which makes him pretty unlikely to be traded. At this point, the Jazz would have to attach a pick to trade Alec Burks, and they aren’t going to do that. He’s not a locker room problem, and he’s someone who still can help the Jazz in small doses. If the Jazz truly want to let him go, it’s more likely they wait until the trade deadline next season and either try to deal him or buy him out if there are no takers.
You always have to be hesitant when a guy out of nowhere starts to play well in a contract season. With Mario Hezonja, you want to be intrigued. He’s a legit 6 foot 8, can handle the ball, shoot the ball and he’s still very young. And he’s been in a bad system in Orlando that doesn’t develop players well. So someone will take a chance. I know for a fact there are general managers around the league who just think he needs a change of scenery. Is he good for the Jazz? Possibly if he can buy into the system defensively. He could be a nice talent for a nice price. It’s an interesting question.