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Pelicans exec David Griffin thinks Derrick Favors has ‘untapped offensive potential’

Derrick Favors, Pelicans, Jazz

The New Orleans Pelicans and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin are obviously excited about the arrival of Derrick Favors.

New Orleans traded for Favors from the Utah Jazz in exchange for picks, bringing the veteran center to help guide their young core of Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart.

However, the Pelicans are not only planning to use Favors as a locker room presence. The team has high hopes for the 27-year-old big man, with Griffin looking to tap his “untapped offensive potential.”

“As a selfless, 27-year old elite rim protector, with what we believe is untapped offensive potential, he is just entering his prime. We believe he will be a vital piece of our nucleus moving forward,” Griffin said.

In nine seasons with the Jazz, Favors averaged 11.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.3 blocks. While his scoring doesn’t really stand out, there was a time when he looked like he would be an offensive star in Utah.

Favors averaged over 16 points per game in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons while shooting over 50 percent from the field, proving to be a capable low-post scorer. However, the offensive growth of guys like Gobert, Rodney Hood and Mitchell would put a dent in Favors’ volume, as he would become more of a defensive focal point than an offensive threat.

Favors now finds himself in the role of a veteran leader on a young Pelicans team. Although New Orleans will likely want to establish Jrue Holiday, Ingram and Williamson as the primary offensive options, Favors should get plenty of touches given that Alvin Gentry wants to run an up-tempo system.