According to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski June 21st is another date that Nets’ fans need to add to their checklist:
After some gentle prodding by the New Jersey Nets’ front office, Georgia Tech’s Derrick Favors and Kentucky’s DeMarcus Cousins – the top two big men in the NBA draft – will work out one-on-one against each other on June 21 in East Rutherford, N.J.
The Nets hold the third pick in the draft, and 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. Sources say Nets general manager Rod Thorn is leaning toward drafting Favors, but wants to see him in some contact drills with Cousins.
This is some pretty big news because Favors and Cousins are the two guys the Nets seem to have it narrowed down to, and seeing them play against each other should provide some insight for the Nets when deciding who to draft. Notice how I said some. The minute this workout is over, you are going to hear reports. If Derrick Favors gets the better of DeMarcus Cousins, the Nets made the right decision. If it ends up in favor of Cousins, then everyone will need to re-evaluate everything before the draft.
While a workout against each other will provide some information (for example, how Derrick Favors handles a bigger defender or how DeMarcus Cousins can shoot from the outside), there is only so much you can learn from a situation like this. The main reason, this is simply one on one rather than five on five drills. At some point teams are going to have to trust their scouting of live-game situations, and I think that the Nets’ scouting will tell them that Derrick Favors is the Power Forward the Nets need to draft.
Also, you shouldn’t read too much into workout reports that say Cousins pushed Favors around. Look at the two of them, it would be more surprising if Cousins didn’t push Favors around. I think Rod Thorn really wants to see how Favors reacts to taking some shots to see if he backs down or keeps working as hard as he can.
The interesting thing about this whole situation is that the Nets’ were able to get Derrick Favors to agree to a one on one workout. With Favors already being the favorite for the Nets’ pick, there is no reason for him to give the Nets an opportunity to negatively rate him. This makes you believe that the third pick is more up in the air than previously reported or that Rod Thorn told Favors’ agent that a decent showing against a physical player is all that he needs to get himself a guarantee from the Nets (not saying I agree with that). If I was forced to pick, I would say that the latter situation is a more realistic possibility and if Favors plays aggressively with Cousins, that is going to be the last thing Rod Thorn and Avery Johnson need to see from him.