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Derrick Favors excited in leadership role despite being younger than some players


After playing with the Utah Jazz for nearly his entire career, Derrick Favors, now a 10-year vet, is moving on to a new chapter with the New Orleans Pelicans. In a piece by Jim Eichenhofer of NBA.com, Favors expressed his excitement to step into a leadership role with the Pels – despite being younger than some of his new teammates.

On a New Orleans roster that generally got younger this summer, including adding three first-round picks, Favors will have the third-most NBA experience, behind JJ Redick (13 years) and Jrue Holiday (10 years). E’Twaun Moore, 30, and Darius Miller, 29, are both older than Favors but have played fewer years in the league.

“I know a lot of guys are going to look up to me, because I’ve been in the league 10 years now,” Favors said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to lead them, and be able to go out there and obviously take advantage of my new opportunity, and just have fun.”

Favors didn’t have much of an opportunity with Utah in the shadows of two-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. With New Orleans, Favors may find new life as one of the team’s most tenured players.

The Pelicans added a lot of fresh faces this summer – most of which are rookies and young, up-and-coming prospects. Obviously, the most highly-touted among them is top-overall pick Zion Williamson, whom Favors will likely share the starting front-court with come opening night. They also added two more rookies in Jaxson Hayes and Nickiel Alexander-Walker – both of whom finished as All-NBA Summer League team members.

New Orleans also acquired former Los Angeles Lakers young core triumvirate Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart. 13-year veteran and three-point specialist J.J. Redick also became one of the Pelicans’ key free agency signings this off-season.