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'He has been a true professional': Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller thanks now-traded Derrick Favors after nine seasons in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz’s longest tenured player is officially gone.

The team announced Sunday that it has traded forward/center Derrick Favors to New Orleans for two future second-round picks, a trade reported days earlier, ending his time in Utah after nine seasons.

Team owner Gail Miller had high praise for the longtime Jazzman.

“Derrick has represented the Utah Jazz organization and the Miller family with class, hard work, and exceptional talent for nearly 10 years,” Miller said in a news release. “He has been a true professional and will be remembered for his immeasurable contributions to our team and the community.”

Favors, 27, was traded to the Jazz in February 2011 and played in 576 games (413 starts) for Utah over the past nine seasons. He averaged 12.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks while serving as a key cornerstone to the organization over that stretch.

“Thank you Derrick for all you have done to elevate our team, bring excitement to our fans, show young people what character is, and for putting your imprint on our legacy," Miller continued. "Your time in Utah will not be forgotten no matter where you play ball. We wish you and your family the very best as you continue to lift the game of professional basketball with your extraordinary talent.”

Favors leaves Utah ranking fourth all-time in Jazz rebounds (4,250), seventh in blocks (772) and 10th in games played.

“Derrick’s legacy will forever be a part of the Jazz organization,” Greg Miller, Jazz member of the NBA Board of Governors, said in the news release. “We know we will face a tough competitor when we see him again on the court. We thank Derrick for his commitment to our team and wish him and his family the best in New Orleans.”

The Jazz also shared a video on Twitter highlighting his time in Utah, like the organization did the day before when its trade with Memphis to acquire Mike Conley Jr. and send Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver and Grayson Allen to the Grizzlies became official.

“Derrick is kind of like a rock — the guy that no matter what’s going on, he was going to come in and play, because I think he’s one of the best players in the league," Jazz center Rudy Gobert said in the video.

When news of the trade began to circulate, Utah forward Georges Niang was one of several Jazz players to share their appreciation for the big man.

"Going to miss @dfavors14 he’s represents everything that is great about a teammate! Dude was nice to everyone and showed up everyday and went to work! They don’t make em like you anymore favo!! Wishing you nothing but the best in New Orleans!!," Niang tweeted.

David Griffin, the Pelicans' executive vice president of basketball operations, expressed his excitement in New Orleans bringing in Favors.

“We are ecstatic to be able to introduce a player and person of Derrick’s caliber to our Pelicans’ family,” he said in a news release. “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.”