Yesterday, the Nets announced that after much prodding, Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins will work out together on June 21st. Previously, the two players were scheduled for separate workouts because Favors’ representatives were worried about how Favors would fare against the size of Cousins. But according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, things have changed.
So far Favors’ agent Wallace Prather has been reluctant to let him get matched with the bigger, stronger Cousins on the floor. They worked out together in Sacramento on Saturday, but largely stayed in individual drills.
With the two best big men in the Draft going up against each other, who does this workout benefit more? The answer is Cousins.
Right now, most mock drafts and NBA insiders have the Nets taking Favors third overall, as it seems set in stone that John Wall and Evan Turner will go one-two respectively. This workout can only hurt Favors. With him being the Nets’ top choice at the moment, all he had to do was come to New Jersey, show his length, his athleticism and basically show the Nets why he would be a perfectly good pick at No. 3. He didn’t need to do anything extra, especially not go up against Cousins – who could be the strongest, most bruising force in this Draft.
While Rod Thorn obviously wanted to see Favors go up against tough competition like Cousins – and that is why he pushed Favors’ camp to agree to this workout – there was no guarantee that something like this would get done. If Favors had not agreed to the joint workout, Thorn would have most likely taken him if he accomplished the goals stated above, because it would have been the safe bet for the Nets. Now, if Favors gets pushed around by Cousins, he could fall out of the No. 3 slot.
While Favors is taking a big risk by taking on Cousins in one-on-one drills, the risk for Cousins is low. Right now, he will probably go to Sacramento with the fifth pick (his agent recently cancelled a workout in Minnesota because he thinks the Wolves will draft Wes Johnson), but if he absolutely dominates Favors, he can go to the Nets at three.
Cousins was college basketball’s most efficient player last year, and nobody could truly slow the big man down. In addition to his brute strength, Cousins has an incredible array of low post moves to go along with his deceptively quick feet. DeMarcus can also extend his range to 18 feet, and in Sacramento this past weekend, hit on 78% of the jumpers he took. With his off-the-chart skillset, and intimidating physical presence, Cousins is exactly the kind of player that can give anyone – including Favors – fits. If Favors ends up falling below the No. 3 pick, he will have only one person to blame: DeMarcus Cousins.
What do you think?
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