It’s hard to mess up the No. 3 pick. Some think the Nets might have.
A lot of people are very enamored of DeMarcus Cousins. They say that past all the weight issues and a supposed attitude problem, there’s a legit NBA center there that teams – New Jersey included – will be mad down the road to have passed on.
As a big fan of unwarranted hype, I’d like to say I buy into the Cousins camp, but I can’t fault New Jersey with going for Derrick Favors, who seems like he’ll be the more reliable player – even if he’s got less in the way of potential.
Also, while Cousins would have had to compete with Brook Lopez for minutes, Favors will slide nicely into the power forward slot that didn’t provide much for the Nets this last year with Yi Jianlian taking the majority of starts.
Later in the night, the Nets turned their No. 27 and No. 31 picks into Damion James, who the Hawks selected with the No. 24 pick. I’m not the biggest fan of this move – James is a 6-foot-7 guy whose best asset is arguably his rebounding, which might not translate to the NBA. But clearly something excited the Nets about James that the people available at their two later picks simply didn’t. Those picks turned into Jordan Crawford and Tibor Pleiss – I wouldn’t be surprised if either one turns into a better NBA player than James.
But the key to the Nets’ evening was clearly getting Favors at the No. 3 slot. Everything else will be forgotten about relatively quickly, whiel you hope that a No. 3 overall draft pick can become a player you can count on for several years down the line. I think Derrick Favors can be that guy.