NBA: Tristan Thompson To Bulls, Nikola Mirotic To Jazz, Derrick Favors To Cavs In Rumored Three-Way Trade

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The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the teams expected to make a major move before next month’s trade deadline. Numerous reports have linked them to DeAndre Jordan and Marc Gasol as the team is said to be looking for a wide-bodied big man to patrol the paint for defense and rim protection. Just recently, Miami Heat’s Hassan Whiteside was also brought up in the discussions.

However, Quenton Albertie of FanSided’s King James Gospel blog suggested that Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors could be what the Cavaliers are looking for instead of a legitimate center.

Favors, 26, is a 6-foot-10, 265-pound forward and is a known two-way player. Albertie said that the eight-year veteran could also “stretch the floor out to the free-throw line with consistency” and is a high-percentage scorer, shooting 55 percent from the field while averaging 12.3 points per game in 39 games for the Jazz so far this season.

Favors’ best trait is said to be on the defensive end as Albertie called him a “defensive force” that has the “defensive instincts and technique” that Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue can effectively use.

Getting Favors could be tricky, though, with the Chicago Bulls rumored to be also interested in the former Georgia Tech standout.

Nikola Mirotic blocks a shot by Derrick Favors in a Bulls vs Jazz game
Nikola Mirotic (left) blocks a shot by Derrick Favors in a Bulls-Jazz game.Featured image credit: Nam Y. HuhAP Images

Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson reported that the Jazz might trade Favors to the Bulls for Nikola Mirotic, who is reportedly interested in playing under Jazz head coach Quin Snyder’s system.

Mirotic has also been in the center of trade rumors these past few weeks. The 26-year-old is having the best season of his career, averaging 17.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 24.9 minutes per contest, despite only joining the squad early last month due to a controversial injury that made him miss the first 23 games of the season.

With the potential Jazz-Bulls trade, Albertie proposed a three-way deal that would require the Cavs to give up Tristan Thompson and their own first-round pick this summer to get Favors. As suggested in the blog, the exact scenario would be Thompson and the 2018 first-rounder moving to the Bulls, Mirotic going to the Jazz, and Favors joining the Cavs.

Tristan Thompson shoots over Robin Lopez during a Cavaliers-Bulls match
Tristan Thompson (left) shoots over Robin Lopez during a Cavaliers-Bulls match.Featured image credit: Jonathan DanielGetty Images

The trade is considered to be a win-win situation for all clubs involved, with Mirotic landing on a team he had wanted to be with and the Bulls receiving a valuable draft pick plus Thompson, who could replace an aging Robin Lopez in their starting five.

Meanwhile, Favors could take the place of Jae Crowder in Cleveland’s starting lineup, allowing Kevin Love to move back to his more comfortable power forward position, Albertie said.