Derrick Favors’ grin is more suited for a Life cereal box than a Gatorade ad. Favors’ charm is more welcome in Atlanta than East Rutherford. And his game is far more raw than polished.

That’s just what Nets coach Avery Johnson was looking for Thursday night, as the team selected the Georgia Tech power forward with the No. 3 pick in the NBA?draft.

“They said I?talked funny, wasn’t going to make an impact,” Johnson said before the draft. “I think I did OK?for myself.”


Favors could certainly make an impact as a rookie, particularly on the defensive end, it just may not be immediate. At 18, the freshman is the youngest American player in the draft class. His 6-foot-10, 245-pound frame, though, is certainly NBA-ready. His 9-foot-2 reach dominated the in the low post last season in the ACC, as he averaged 12.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. It’s welcome help down on the blocks for the Nets, who chased the wrong kind of records in a 12-win season.

“He’s a great coach. 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,” Favors said of his new coach. “I think I can learn a lot from [Brook] Lopez and playing alongside of him will be easy. I can sit back and learn and do what I do best, which is play defense and rebound.”

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