Wolves work out draft prospect Derrick Favors

1:11 PM, Jun 17, 2010   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Long, quick and strong with plenty of that upside the NBA loves so much, Derrick Favors has found himself a consensus top-five pick in next week's draft. He could go as high as third.

The hard work has just begun for Favors, however.

"He appears to be out of shape," Minnesota president of basketball operations David Kahn said Thursday after Favors worked out for Timberwolves officials at Target Center.

The 6-foot-10 Favors, who won't turn 19 until next month after a one-and-done career at Georgia Tech, didn't argue with that assessment. He looked rather winded after going through a series of footwork, shooting and conditioning drills.

"I know at the beginning of my college year I was kind of tired in the first half of the game," Favors said. "I kind of worked my way to be able to play the whole game. ... I'm working on it. Trying to improve it. Trying to show I can go nonstop."

Kahn said he would talk to Favors about his conditioning, but didn't express concern.

"I think that's something that can be learned," Kahn said.

Favors weighs 248 pounds, up from 240 during the past season. He's a pure power forward, who averaged 12.4 points and 8.4 rebounds for the Yellow Jackets to win the ACC Rookie of the Year award from media covering the conference, with the ability to play some at the center position if he bulks up. He said he'd like to be at 260 pounds.

Favors said he patterns himself after Amare Stoudemire. His wingspan makes him a natural rebounder and shot-blocker, and he has exceptional leaping ability for his height, but his offensive game needs polish. Favors was frequently in foul trouble during his freshman season.

"You have to be patient for him because he's so raw and so undeveloped, but I think he has a great opportunity to be a very fine player in this league," Kahn said, insisting Favors can run well and fit with an up-tempo style.

The Wolves have the No. 4, No. 16 and No. 23 picks in the first round of the draft, so they might have to put together a package to move up if they want to pick Favors. Kahn said trade talks have been "intensifying."

As for whether Favors could fit on a team with power forwards Al Jefferson and Kevin Love, Kahn said he wouldn't keep all three of them together for the future.

"If he's there and we take him then it would obviously hasten something else that would have to occur," Kahn said. "It doesn't necessarily have to occur that night. There's not that much pressure to do something right away in that he's 18. While I do believe he will be playing some next year, I don't believe it will be likely for him to play a prominent role on a team next year."

Considering his comments about Favors appearing out of shape and his emphasis that he is a long-term project, Kahn sounded as though he was trying to downplay his value -- perhaps hoping for a better chance at landing him.

"I think we're in a position where we have to do what's best for the long term viability of the franchise," Kahn said. "Simple as that. While I know people would prefer that it happen sooner rather than later, I don't think that we can be forced into doing something that isn't best for the long-term vision."

Favors has worked out for the Sacramento Kings, who have the No. 5 pick, and he said he has visits scheduled with the Philadelphia 76ers (No. 2) and New Jersey Nets (No. 3). Unlike some prospects, Favors is not being picky about where he goes. He's eager to show he's more than just a defensive presence in the paint.

"I'll work out for whoever calls and asks, and not even just in the top five," he said.

Kahn said discussions were still ongoing about getting DeMarcus Cousins to Minnesota for a workout. He said he's not expecting Evan Turner to come.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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