RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Derrick FavorsPosted by rtmsf on June 3rd, 2010
Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 24, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 30-35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.
Player Name: Derrick Favors
School: Georgia Tech
Height/Weight: 6’10, 245
NBA Position: Power Forward
Projected Draft Range: Top five pick
Overview: Derrick Favors came into his lone season with the Yellow Jackets as the one of the most highly recruited players in the nation (Rivals rated him as the #3 recruit, Scout as #2 and ESPN as #1), but despite averaging 12.4 PPG, 8.4 RPG and just over two blocks per game, he had to be considered a bit of a disappointment. Some of that could certainly be attributed to the lackluster play of the Georgia Tech point guards, and having to fight frontcourt-mate Gani Lawal for rebounds, but it is clear that at just 18 years of age, Favors hasn’t come anywhere near his potential yet. But still, there were plenty of intriguing signs, and Favors definitely improved over the course of the season, perhaps playing his best game of the season in the ACC Championship when he racked up 22 points and 11 rebounds against eventual national champion Duke, and scored in double figures in his last eleven games of the season while averaging over nine rebounds a game over that stretch.
Will Translate to the NBA: Favors’ measurements are outstanding: a legit 6’10 stature, 7’2 wingspan and 9’2 standing reach, all of which measure up to Dwight Howard’s combine measurements. Given that size, he fits perfectly as an NBA power forward, but can even play center, especially with some added bulk. Aside from the measurements, there is the phenomenal athletic ability: jump-out-of-the-gym hops, gazelle-like open-court speed and a strength that belies his youth. Those skills allow Favors to be a spectacular and strong finisher around and above the rim, while also making him a versatile defender, able to bang with power guys inside or step outside and guard perimeter-oriented forwards. And while Favors was able to rely on superior athleticism to dominate in high school, he showed the ability to expand his game in his Georgia Tech career by improving his footwork and low-post moves over the course of the 2009-10 season.
Needs Work: While his offensive game did improve over the season, there is still a ways to go. He is most comfortable offensively right at the rim and will need to develop more consistent low-post moves and work on his jumper out to 15-18 feet, a shot he is capable of making when confortable. He’ll need to improve his basketball IQ, as he doesn’t handle double-teams well and is not a very good passer out of the post, both issues that led to a very poor 2.5 turnovers per game, a number even more disturbing considering the relative dearth of touches he got in the Yellow Jacket offense. And, perhaps job number one for Favors, he’ll need to continue to get stronger, something that should not be a problem given his frame.
Comparison Players: There’s the Dwight Howard and Amare Stoudemire comparisons on the upside and the Antonio McDyess and Al Horford comparisons on the downside. Yes. McDyess and Horford are his downsides. However, we most like the Howard comparison, not just because the measurements match up, but also because Howard was without a developed offensive game at the same age. While Howard made his hay early in his career solely on dunks, strong rebounding and defense (and some would say he still does), Favors is capable of doing the same thing: providing positives for his team without a developed offensive game. Both players are amazing athletes, forceful rebounders and intimidating defenders, and if anything, Favors may have more offensive upside than Howard.
Best Case Scenario: Favors develops his body and his offensive game, doing the dirty work necessary early in his career to earn playing time and the respect of his peers and becomes a 20/12 guy or better, anchoring a stout defense while improving his post moves, face-up game, jumpshot, ball-handling and passing. While Favors may not be ready to step into an NBA starting lineup immediately as a rookie, his ability to contribute on defense and on the glass should earn him early minutes and his hard work could vault him into a starting lineup in his second year, especially considering the type of team on which he will end up.
2013 Projection: Favors should clearly be starting by his third NBA season, his body having completed the transition to an NBA fame, his offensive game rounding into shape, and his rebounding and defensive prowess becoming well-known throughout the league. While his transition into a top-flight post player may be a little more protracted (remember, in 2013 he’ll still be just 21), you can pencil him in as a 15/10 guy on a nightly basis with plenty of room still to grow.
Best NBA Fit: Out of the teams most likely to be interested in and able to garner Favors’ services, there is not a bad fit among the bunch. Lately there has been some chatter that the 76ers are interested in Favors at the #2 spot, and with Samuel Dalembert likely on his way out after his contract expires next season, Elton Brand having been MIA for one reason or another the last couple seasons, and little more intriguing talent up front, Favors would be a welcome infusion of talent in the Philly frontcourt. However, as of right now, Favors is just one of three players (Evan Turner and DeMarcus Cousins the others) who the Sixers are considering with the second pick. Should Favors fall past Philly, the Nets would gladly snap him up to pair with Brook Lopez for a frontcourt tandem that could be a terrorizing force in the Eastern Conference for years to come. While it isn’t particularly likely that Favors falls past the third pick, if he does so, the Kings are very interested in him at #5, and with Spencer Hawes in and out of the doghouse in Sacramento last season, they too are very interested in a frontcourt stud. Our choice? We’d love to see Lopez and Favors in Jersey.