Favoring Favors, live chat Thursday at noon
- Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
- June 23, 2010 - 11:34 AM
Speculation that New Jersey is zeroing in on Syracuse's Wesley Johnson is building, a possibility that nationally has been spun as a nightmare scenario for the Timberwolves.
You kidding me?
This Wolves team needs talent.
This team needs THE piece, not more pieces.
Derrick Favors very well could be that guy.
Yesterday, the notion that the Nets will take Johnson after John Wall and Evan Turner go 1-2 was dismissed by some as smokescreen, an effort to leverage some of those extra draft picks from the Wolves to ensure they get Johnson.
David Kahn dismissed the idea that Wolves just have to trade up as completely ridiculous.
If Favors somehow drops to the Wolves at No. 4, that's a gift.
Yes, Johnson is more NBA ready, but the Wolves aren't going to get out of this mess by adding a wing player who can really shoot but might not be that creative playmaker off the dribble that they lack.
They need building blocks.
Ricky Rubio very well could be one, if he ever plays here.
Favors is young (doesn't turn 19 until next month), raw, but projects exactly as the athletic, defensive game-changing big they obviously lack with their Al Jefferson-Kevin Love tandem.
Yes, Favors is yet one more power forward.
So what if the Wolves are collecting them like they're trading cards?
Don't let the presence of Jefferson and Love sway you because neither -- David Kahn was right -- is a No. 1 guy on a championship contender.
Favors is raw, undeveloped and there are questions about his motor, but he's physically gifted enough to become that guy.
Some compare Favors to a young Amare Stoudemire.
Others mention Dwight Howard.
Somewhere in between wouldn't be bad.
Yes, Favors won't help you win tomorrow, but a Rubio-Favors pairing for the next decade if you could make it happen?
Now, that's getting you somewhere, much like when the Wolves drafted Kevin Garnett and Steph Marbury in back-to-back years long ago (oh, well, never mind, we know how that turned out).
From there, the remaining pieces are comparatively easy to find.
DeMarcus Cousins probably is more talented and it's a risk passing him up, but there's also a chance he could sulk in your locker room for the next decade.
Much has been made about David Kahn's comments last week that Favors was out of shape during a Target Center workout.
Obviously, it caused friction between the Wolves and Favors' agent because Kahn has apologized for the comment repeatedly.
I don't believe it was intended as a "rip" of Favors. Kahn often says things he shouldn't say and this was more of an off-the-cuff remark, and a paraphrase of one of the first things Kurt Rambis said to him during the workout..
Favors is nearly 6-9, 245 pounds and measured 6.5 body fat at the Chicago combine.
He may be young and not yet aware of what exactly is NBA shape, but he's no fatty (DeMarcus Cousins registered 16 percent body fat).
Kahn's statement initially sounded like not-so-veiled NBA draft subterfuge.
I just think it rolled off his tongue without him thinking.
On Tuesday, Kahn was asked about the team's final draft workouts, a group that include Nevada's Luke Babbitt.
"I got in trouble apparently mentioning innocuously that somebody was out of shape," Kahn said, "so they all played stupendously today."
Why would the Nets take Johnson?
Because the team's new Russian billioinare owner wants to win now and Johnson is more NBA ready.
Because, like the Wolves, the Nets are millions to spend in free agency and today's speculation is that Johnson's presence will help the Nets sign free-agent power forward Carlos Boozer because both players have the same agent.
And here's an inkling:
The Nets today traded Chris Douglas-Roberts -- a small forward, just like Johnson -- to the Bucks for a second-round pick.
If the Nets do indeed take Johnson, Wolves fans should celebrate.
Maybe this team finally gets a break.
The draft is now just a day away. To get ready for draft night, I'll be doing a live chat Thursday at noon for about an hour. Get your questions ready.
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