Archives For Derrick Favors

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One of our culture’s great coups has been to extend the deep allure of celebrity to the everyday. It’s not enough to appear pristine and beautiful in films or photographs, or even on red carpets; there is now an aesthetically polished, celebritized way of doing things like sitting in a restaurant, gossiping about your terrible friends, holding your Starbucks cup, getting into and out of cars. But when you see it up close, outside the carefully crafted lens of TV and awesome magazines, that seamless celebrity world comes unglued. The polished spectacle starts to look as depressing and boring as it really is.

One sight of Kim Kardashian at the Target Center on Saturday should have made that fact even plainer. Even a person as apparently superficial and un-serious as our Kim, whose only real work seems to be making her life appear to be as charmed and sumptuously fascinating as possible, sometimes finds herself in chilly, thinly lit Minnesota, watching some dull, uninspired New Year’s Day basketball.

That Kris Humphries, local MN legend, magnificently biceped Ken doll and Kim’s reported gentleman-friend, has a starting job for the New Jersey Nets should give one a clue to just how thin that team’s roster is. The Nets are still languishing in their post-Kidd/Frank, post-beautifully-impossible-LeBron-fantasy, pre-Brooklyn purgatory; at the moment they are a decidedly terrible basketball team. And much of Saturday’s game was played like the dreary, sparsely attended, hungover contest between sub-mediocre teams that it was.

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Nice Dreams

Benjamin Polk —  June 24, 2010 — 6 Comments

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It’s on, homies. The Timberwolves our right now facing the biggest night of the post-KG era. Lets not fool ourselves with predictions or pipe dreams. The truth is, nobody knows what’s going to happen. All we can do is allow the questions to loll about in our heads, to face that essentially Timberwolvian sensation of overwhelming dread mixed with faint hope.

The immediate questions: is New Jersey serious about Wesley Johnson, or is David Kahn just getting royally played? Is Al Jefferson seeing his final sunrise as a T-Wolf? and if so, will the Wolves parlay the moody Mississippian into another top-1o pick, or a coveted young veteran like Rudy Gay or Danny Granger (or, more troubling, just another salary dump)?

And the long-term questions: did Demarcus Cousins, by multiple measures the most productive player in college basketball last year, do so badly on his psychological evaluations that four teams, the Wolves included, are willing to pass him by? Just how good will this dude be? And what will Derrick Favors be like when he’s not an 18-year-old boy? And is any of this enough to entice Ricky Rubio?

And finally, the basic, awful question at the heart of it all: will the Wolves ever be done rebuilding?

Myles will be with you tonight. Tomorrow we’ll all try to pick up the pieces. Hold on to your faces.

Gold Dust

Benjamin Polk —  June 23, 2010 — 2 Comments

Who’s up for some rumo(u)rs? The internet is simply abuzz. Firsties, Andy Katz at Truehoop reports on the chatter that the Nets have been getting sweet on Wes Johnson. What’s more, says Katz, they’ve been trying to pry Al Jefferson away from good olde MN:

“Johnson told ESPN that he could see himself fit well with New Jersey. According to a source close to Rob Pelinka, Johnson’s agent, the Nets have said Johnson’s professionalism and ability to contribute immediately are major reasons why he has moved ahead of Georgia Tech’s Derrick Favors on Jersey’s board. New Nets coach Avery Johnson, according to sources, wants a player who is low maintenance and can have an impact. Johnson answers that on all fronts.”

Seconds, Chad Ford, also a Truehoopist, says that if Johnson is gone, the Wolves would settle for Favors, and that this would be just fine indeed:

“Sources in Minnesota are saying that they’ll take Derrick Favors at No. 4 if Evan Turner and Johnson are off the board. The Wolves may be bummed by this development, but I think it’s a great deal. The team lucked into Rubio at No. 5 last year and get a steal with Favors at No. 4 this year. Those two together could be awesome down the road.”

Ford’s not done either. He goes on to drop this heavy piece of speculative, anonymously sourced knowledge:

“However, the latest thing I’m hearing out of Minnesota may have the most legs. Sources have told me that the Wolves and Grizzlies have been discussing a swap that would send Jefferson to the Grizzlies for Zach Randolph. The deal would allow the Wolves to save a lot of money over time. Randolph has one year, $17.6 million left on his contract. Jefferson has three years, $42 million left.”

Whoa, dudes. Update: Apparently, this thing is dead. Probably for the best.

Meanwhile, Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal tells us about a possible deal involving three later first round picks (thanks again to Ms. SG at Canis Hoopus), which discussions David Kahn has himself acknowledged:

“The Grizzlies have discussed trading their late first-round draft picks to the Minnesota Timberwolves in an attempt to move up in Thursday’s NBA draft.

A potential deal that would have the Griz exchanging their picks at 25 and 28 for the Timberwolves’ 16th selection has not been agreed upon but is one of several possibilities being seriously considered.”

Lastly, President Obama has relieved Gen. Stanley McChrystal of his duties as Afghanistan field commander. Does this mean that McChrystal could fall to the Wolves at 16? Sources say that Minnesota likes his length and athleticism but that he’s a bit on the old side for what the Wolves are trying to do (he turns 56 in August).

Favors on My Mind

Benjamin Polk —  June 17, 2010 — Leave a comment

We learned some things at Derrick Favors’s workout for the Timberwolves on Thursday. First: he’s not in good shape right now. That’s too bad.

Second: the young kid (just 18! Its really weird, I looked just like this guy when I was 18) has a long way to go before he can be an NBA starter. By his own admission, Favors is “just playing on natural ability right now.” And David Kahn pointed out that, although he’s extremely gifted, “he just needs to learn how to play.” Thats all.

Indeed, if you check out these highlights, you do see a lot of jumping and dunking. Don’t see so much ballhandling, footwork or shooting skill (FYI, I recommend you mute this thing):

Third and maybe most importantly, when Kahn was asked whether Favors could play alongside Kevin Love and Al Jefferson, Kahn replied, “if he’s there, it sort of hastens something else that has to occur.” This rather passive voice-y remark confirms what many of us have already thought: that if the Wolves take Favors (or, one has to assume Demarcus Cousins, another big fella) in the draft, then Big Al is probably on his way out.