Derrick Favors shows raw ability, poor conditioning in Wolves workout
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MINNEAPOLIS -- One of the knocks on Derrick Favors during his year at Georgia Tech was conditioning, and he didn't do much to counter that perception on Thursday.
"He isn't in shape," Minnesota Timberwolves general manager David Kahn said after Favors' workout at Target Center. "You could see that right off the bat."
Coach Kurt Rambis, owner Glen Taylor and other notables also were on hand as the 18-year-old power forward drilled on the arena's main floor -- gassing easily and fighting his jumper but impressing with his length, leaping and ability to run the floor at 6-10 and 248 pounds.
Favors then departed for Philadelphia to work out for the 76ers, who reportedly are debating whether to take him or Ohio State forward Evan Turner with the No. 2 overall pick in next week's NBA Draft. To keep his options open, Favors already has worked out for Sacramento, which has the No. 5 pick, and also plans to visit New Jersey (No. 3).
"Liked him, as we thought we would," Kahn said. "He's quite a specimen when he's 18 years old. ... You have to be patient for him because he's so raw and still so undeveloped. But I think he has the opportunity to be a very fine player in this league."
Favors' mission in his workouts, he said, is to prove he has offensive skills to go with his defensive ability. He battled foul trouble and his touches were limited at Georgia Tech, where he averaged 12.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks as a freshman last season.
"A lot of people think I'm just an athlete," Favors said. "They don't know I can bang and play physical, how strong I am."
While Kahn indicated poor conditioning at such a crucial juncture isn't a major concern, he acknowledged the Atlanta native's lack of polish would make it difficult for Favors to play a prominent role as a rookie.
Asked if the Wolves -- who own the Nos. 4, 16 and 23 picks in the first round -- still are in a position to wait for players, Kahn said, "I think we're in a position where we have to do what's best for the long-term viability of the franchise, simple as that. While I know that people would prefer that it happen sooner than later, I don't think that we can be forced into doing something that isn't best for the long-term vision."
The team remains in communication with the representatives for DeMarcus Cousins, said Kahn, who remains hopeful the Kentucky big man will change his mind and come in for a workout. Like Favors, the selection of Cousins likely would trigger a corresponding move, with the Wolves shipping out Al Jefferson or Kevin Love in a trade on draft night or soon after.
Kahn said he hasn't had any recent communication with the agent for Turner and doesn't expect him to come in. The Wolves worked out one other possibility for the No. 4 pick, Syracuse forward Wesley Johnson">Wesley Johnson, on Tuesday.
A lean perimeter player who's already 23 years old, Johnson is in essence the opposite of Favors, who has inside skills and may not be done developing physically.
Favors admitted conditioning, among other things, remains a work in progress.
"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 being able to play for the whole game. So, I think everybody criticized my conditioning, but I'm working on it, trying to improve it, trying to show them I can go nonstop."