The New Jersey Nets had a very busy draft night. With the third selection in the draft, the Nets selected Georgia Tech forward, Derrick Favors. We profiled Favors here earlier this week. In addition to Favors, the Nets packaged their 27th and 31st pick to land the 24th pick, Texas forward, Damion James, who is the Big 12’s All-Time rebounding leader.
The selection of Derrick Favors was really no surprise. The Nets went the route of selecting the best player available. Favors played very well during his freshman season at Georgia Tech. He averaged 12.5 points and 8.4 rebounds in 30 minutes played. Favors also blocked 2.1 shots per contest, displaying the great athleticism he has been known for.
In the days leading up to the draft, there was a buzz around Syracuse forward, Wes Johnson. However, the 23-year-old Johnson really has not proven he had do anything other than shoot during his collegiate career. Johnson never displayed his defensive skills in Syracuse’s zone scheme. With much of the prized free agent class comprised of power forward talent, the Nets drafting Johnson made some sense, but Favors clearly has the higher upside. Great pick for the Nets.
Their second selection came via a trade with the Atlanta Hawks. The Nets packaged their late first and early second round pick for Texas’, Damion James. James, a 6’7″, four-year player, had a great career for the Longhorns. James averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds during his senior year with Texas. To the surprise of many, James fell out of the lottery and into the laps of the Nets. James is a hard-nosed defender and rebounder who will see time right away at small forward for the Nets.
Overall, I really like the Nets’ draft. They matched a high upside player with a hard-nose, experienced defender. Both players can rebound the basketball very well. Most scouts agree that rebounding translates well from collegiate to professional basketball. This bodes very well for a Nets team that struggled on the interior last season.
How excited are you about Derrick Favors and Damion James?