Nets Select Derrick Favors at No. 3 | Zagsblog
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Monday / June 5.
  • Nets Select Derrick Favors at No. 3

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    NEW YORK — Derrick Favors had no idea whether the Nets would select him until NBA Commissioner David Stern called his name with the No. 3 pick in the NBA Draft.

    The Nets considered Favors and Syracuse small forward Wesley Johnson until draft day, and then finally pulled the trigger on the 6-foot-10, 245-pound Favors out of Georgia Tech.

    “I didn’t know I was going to the Nets,” Favors said. “I pretty much knew John [Wall] was going to go 1 and Evan [Turner] was going 2, but I had no idea I was going to the Nets, and when they called me I was just excited.”

    The 6-7 Johnson was picked No. 4 by the Minnesota Timberwolves and the 6-11 center DeMarcus Cousins was chosen No. 5 by the Sacramento Kings.

    “We feel [Favors] was the most talented player at that position,” Nets coach Avery Johnson said, according to the team’s official Website. “When you look at the No. 3 pick, there were a lot of guys to decide out of, and all those guys are going to be good NBA players. But we were looking for somebody that could be an outstanding NBA player; we were looking for somebody that could be a perennial All-Star – in time – and we feel we got that guy.”

    Favors has met Avery Johnson and said he’s looking forward to playing for him.

    “He’s a great coach,” Favors said. “He’s coached with the Mavericks and led them to an NBA Finals, so I think it will be a great opportunity for me to grow as a player, to play in front of him.”

    The Nets later acquired the draft rights to 6-7, 225-pound Texas forward Damion James from Atlanta in exchange for the draft rights to Jordan Crawford and Tibor Pleiss.

    “[Damion’s] very talented and he can come and play minutes at the 3 position right now,” Johnson told the Nets Website. “He’s tough, hard-nosed, and for a team that couldn’t play much defense last year, you’ve got to get some guys that can help you on that end of the floor.”

    At 18, Favors is the youngest player in this year’s draft. The last Georgia Tech player drafted in the top five was Chris Bosh (4th) in 2003.

    Because of his age, Favors is thought to have a bigger upside than Wesley Johnson, who turns 23 next month. Favors, who averaged 12.4 points and 8.4 rebounds last season, will slot into the power forward spot next to Nets center Brook Lopez.

    “I think I can learn a lot from Lopez and playing alongside of him will be easy for me and I can sit back and learn and do what I do best, which is play defense and rebound,” Favors said.

    He has yet to meet Mikhail D. Prokhorov, the team’s billionaire owner.

    “I haven’t met him yet, but I’ve heard he’s a guy that’s ready to turn around the program and lead them to a championship within a few years,” Favors said. “So I’m just happy to be a part of it.”


    **Stephenson says he’s ‘Born Ready’ for NBA

    **Dalembert deal could change Nets’ plans

    **Nets eyes Favors, Cousins & Johnson

    **Nets leaning toward taking Favors

    **Johnson dreams big as he takes over

    **Avery Johnson says yes to Nets

    (Photo courtesy ABC News)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.