Prospect Profiles: Derrick Favors

05/08/2010 12:25 PM - 

Contributed by Mike Gallagher

It took Favors a couple days longer than expected to announce he was going take his skills to the next level, but it was inevitable he would be a one-and-done at Georgia Tech since he came into the year as the consensus number two NBA prospect. Tech hasn’t exactly been a basketball factory without a big-time prospect out of the ACC school since Chris Bosh in the 2003 super draft(Darko wasn’t in the ACC). Favors is a hometown kid and there’s a 0.0 percent chance he makes it to Atlanta as he’s poised to go in the first five picks.

What we like:
One look at Favors’ field goal percentage (61.1 percent) and it’s pretty easy to view him as a potential stud. Favors has been able to get to the rim with ease and setup for dunks a la Dwight Howard and Amare Stoudemire. However, he didn’t have a ton of help and had to create a lot of those dunks by himself, while Amare and Dwight have been known to get the ball in an advantageous position from guys like Nash and Nelson.
Besides the pristine field goal shooting, the most alluring stat he’ll provide is the block. Favors was able to eradicate 2.1 blocks per game with his lanky 6-foot-9 frame. Favors did more damage on the defensive end guarding his man, and didn’t get a lot of easy blocks from the weak side. On the other hand, he has very quick feet for a big man to help on weak-side D, which should translate to the next level as well. Don‘t let that 6‘9“ frame fool you, Favors will defend seven-footers throughout his career.
Favors was also very quick in recognizing how his opponents would try to score. His agility also made him an excellent defender of the pick and roll and he is able to defend guards on the perimeter.
Georgia Tech didn’t do a whole lot of running and they were often relying on their D and half-court sets to control the tempo. Unfortunately, they really didn’t do Favors any favors to allow him to showcase his unbelievable athleticism. Favors is going to be one of the best big men in transition right off the bat. Amare was mentioned earlier, and Derrick would be a perfect fit for a team like the Suns. The Suns obviously won’t be able to get him, but their fast-paced style is en vogue and Favors is the type of player that could create a change in offensive scheme for his new team.
Favors stepped it up in big games. Georgia Tech lost to Duke in the ACC tourney, but Favors had one of his best games of the season with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks in 36 minutes. He was a true freshman, so he obviously progressed throughout the season. His 12-point and eight-board averages are very deceiving. Favors reached those 12 points in nine of his last 11 games as a Yellow Jacket.

What we don’t like:
61 percent from the floor is impressive, but 63 percent from the line is brutal. Favors most glaring weakness will be shooting cheap throws. That’s right, they won’t be free for him. He has good rhythm while at the stripe, so he just needs to invest some time and get coached-up on becoming a decent free throw shooter. He should be able to vault that average near 70 percent as he has shown the capacity to work hard when needed.
It’s not really his fault that he went to the wrong team in college, but it’s somewhat difficult to evaluate Favors as an NBA prospect. He didn’t get that much leash in to help reveal how great of a player he can be. Georgia Tech’s game plan was one of the worst for Favors’ style, but NBA scouts should be able to sift through the lack of opportunity for him.
Favors is still a bit small and he is going to need to bulk-up this summer. There’s very little doubt that he will get bigger, but it’s certainly easier said than done. Much in the same manner, Favors is a very raw player. He has all the tools in the box, but NBA coaches need to give him a manual to maximize his capabilities. The upside is certainly there, but with great upside comes great responsibility.

Fantasy prospects:
Favors isn’t going to be the next Spiderman, but he has the skills to be a force in fantasy basketball. It’s a lock that he won’t be Rookie of the Year with the likes of Evan Turner and John Wall running rampant on NBA opponents. Favors is going to produce in four categories: points, rebounds, blocks, and field goal percentage. He will have obvious drawbacks in free throw shooting and won’t be contributing much else outside of those four cats.
Rookie big men have a very tough time making a splash in the league right away. Only Jonas Jerebko, Taj Gibson, DeJuan Blair, and Sam Young had an impact on most fantasy rosters and saying it wasn’t exactly profound is an understatement. Although, last year‘s draft was one of the most guard-laden drafts in NBA history. 2008 had guys like Brook Lopez, Jason Thompson, Roy Hibbert, Anthony Randolph, and Marreese Speights become very valuable waiver adds for savvy fantasy owners.
Speaking of Anthony Randolph, Favors could have a season much like Randolph two seasons ago. Randolph averaged eight points, six boards, and 1.2 blocks. Favors should be able to clear the 10-point barrier, so a line of 10-6-1.2 should be attainable for Favors. Favors needs to go to an uptempo team, and the Warriors would be a great fit for him.
D-Fav is going to be quite the gamble in fantasy drafts. He has the upside to become one of the best big men in the league, but he is to have to roll with the punches in his rookie campaign. He should be taken within the first 75 player owned in long-term keeper leagues and is worthy of a flyer in the 130 range in redraft leagues.

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