SLAMonline Mock Draft: Derrick Favors, No. 3
The best Yellow Jacket Craig Sager can’t buy.
With the third pick in the 2010 SLAMonline Mock Draft, the New Jersey Nets select…
Derrick Favors from Georgia Tech.
This is the year where everything changes for the New Jersey Nets. Mikhail Prokhorov, their Russian owner and the most likely candidate to replace the Dos XX actor as “The most interesting man in the world,” has set out to bring New Jersey a championship within five years. Some people scoff at Prokhorov’s declaration, claiming this is impossible because there are too many issues to turn a team around that quickly. Did they watch the Oklahoma City Thunder bust a 37-game turnaround on the League and earn the sixth seed in a hyper-competitive Western Conference? Well three years ago they had the second pick in the Draft. Let me play the role of Kevin Garnett by saying anything is possible.
Prokhorov’s best laid plans took a perceived big hit when they ended up with the third pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. That’s also how Boston felt when they dropped to the fifth spot in the same draft that the aforementioned Thunder picked Kevin Durant. They only turned that pick in to an NBA championship. The number one pick to does not guarantee a quality player. Ask Michael Olowokandi and Kwame Brown about that.
The choice for New Jersey comes down to Georgia Tech’s Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins, the mercurial star out of Kentucky. I’ve sat here for about an hour comparing stats, upside and even tried to switch the letters in their names to see if I could find some insight in to who to choose. Ultimately it came down to who each player has been most often compared to.
Derrick Favors: Al Jefferson and Antonio McDyess
DeMarcus Cousins: Derrick Coleman and Eddy Curry.
To add a cherry to the comparison sundae, a Golden State Warriors source said Cousins “Is Benoit Benjamin.” You remember Mr. Benjamin, right? He was the cat who spent time on nine teams in 15 seasons and is the NBA’s poster boy for the Subway “Eat Fresh” commercials. Enough said. With the third pick, the New Jersey Nets select Derrick Favors.
The 6-10, 245 pound ACC Freshman of the Year is raw on two levels. He’s nasty, as displayed by his soft touch and great footwork for a big man. The dude has more dimensions than superstring theory, an opponent’s mismatch waiting to happen. He can guard four positions and could shape in to a lockdown defender. Add a body that can handle the rigors of the NBA from day one, a motor that will help him adapt to any style of offense around him, and there’s a lot to like about the Hot-lanta prospect.
As is the case with almost any freshman entrant in to the NBA Draft, the nineteen-year old has some maturity issues. At times this past season, he was unstoppable. Other times, especially against the Duke Blue Devils, he was lost trying to find his way in to the flow of the game. Part of this can be pointed at the Yellow Jackets’ collective inability to give him the ball. Some of it simply comes down to a lack of experience against complex defenses. He also turns the ball over too often, giving up the rock 2.5 times a game. Still, his issues are strictly in relation to the development of his game. He isn’t a headcase and doesn’t have work ethic or dietary concerns. Can you say the same about Cousins? Favors has the composure of Nelson Mandela compared to him.
Favors doesn’t have to be a franchise player in the same way Jeff Green doesn’t have to carry the burden in OKC. If things go according to plan, and with New Jersey you never know if they will, he could be a 20-10 guy who, coupled with Lopez, could be a young and formidable duo down low. Basically they’d be what LeBron James wishes he had in Cleveland.
We’re unconcerned with how Favors will fit in considering the Nets already have Yi Jianlian. Yi’s presence will only serve to give our pick time to work on his game. When he is ready we are going to unleash him like the Smoke Monster onto the islanders.
If the Nets choose to pass on Favors they can always choose a 6-1 guard out of Texas (6-2 when he grows an afro) who has a shaky jumper, decent three-point range and a passing ability that earned him the nickname “Pistol Pete 2.0” in his intramural games. That’s right. I’m submitting my services to the New Jersey Nets but not to play basketball. Prokhorov considered buying the New York Knicks, Rangers and Madison Square Garden but things got a little shaky. It’s clear he wants to be the most high profile owner in the game. He could still achieve this by giving people a television show to replace their obsession with “LOST.” It just so happens that I am a scriptwriter and have an acting degree, so I say me and Russia’s Most Wanted star in a new buddy comedy called “Nothing but Net.” I will teach him how to become assimilated to American culture and he will teach me how to love. Here’s a stunning preview of a scene from “Nothing but Net.”
Interior of Adam and Mikhail’s bachelor pad
Prokhorov walks in to the living room to see Adam sitting on the couch crying.
Mikhail: What’s wrong, Adam?
Adam: I don’t get it, Mikky. I own the Laker girls. We bought out Steve Jobs. I even won a rap battle and now Kanye West has to wear a muzzle for the next decade. Why am I so unhappy? What else is there for me?
Mikhail: Comrade, you can have all the money, fame and adventure in the world but it can’t buy this.
Mikhail picks up a picture frame from the coffee table and hands it to Adam.
Adam: Dude, that’s Katarina, your mail order bride. She cost you twenty thousand Euros and an autographed copy of Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV, you stereotypical little monkey!
Mikhail pulls out his Russian-English dictionary, looks at the camera and shrugs his shoulders.
Mikhail: Was it something I said?
Cue laugh track as the crowd goes wild. Cut to commercial.
Can you say must see TV?
Much like myself, Nets fans have to be realistic. In Kevin Durant’s rookie year the Sonics/Thunder finished with a 20-62 record. Actually, the best thing that could happen for the Nets would be to finish with another lottery pick. They would roll in to the 2011 off-season with Devin Harris, Brook Lopez, Derrick Favors, a top pick and money to throw at Mr. Carmelo Anthony. Everyone hypes up LeBron James’ ties with Jay-Z, a minority owner of New Jersey. You think ‘Melo isn’t street? He would fit in just as well in Jersey as King James.
If this season has taught us anything it is that teams win championships, not squads with one superstar. The Nets will get their chance to land an elite player in the coming years but it means nothing if they don’t surround him with a group that can lighten the load on his off nights. In taking the super-frosh out of Georgia Tech, Mr. Prokhorov will begin doing the first of many Favors for New Jersey.
|2010 SLAMonline Mock Draft|
|3||New Jersey||Derrick Favors||18||Miami|