In separate interviews with WFAN's Evan Roberts and Mike Francesa, Avery Johnson and Rod Thorn talked about Derrick Favors' potential...both as a player and a trade chip.
Johnson compared Favors to a smaller Dwight Howard and a younger Kevin Garnett. He has the potential, said the coach, to be "a perennial All-Star" who "could have the greatest impact of any player" taken in this year's draft.
Thorn was less effusive but called Favors "the player who I think could help our team most in the long run". He also acknowledged Favors could be a "chip" in free agency. Thorn even admitted to Francesa that it's possible, but not likely, that neither Favors nor Damion James will ever play a game for the Nets.
Johnson did say the signing of a veteran PF could actually help Favors' development and also asked for time to evaluate Yi Jianlian. Speaking about Damion James, the coach and GM said the Nets hoped he would drop and said a couple of teams had him #12 and #14 on their boards, mentioning the Grizzlies in particular. Calling him "tough, rugged kid" and "hard-nosed" the two made it clear that James will play the small forward for the Nets...and play defense.
As for free agency, Johnson reiterated the global nature of the Nets recruiting plan. He admitted that there is concern about the Knicks and Bulls having more cap room, but added, "We're not done yet ... Rod can get very creative."
- Avery Johnson Interview (Audio) - Evan Roberts - WFAN
Rod Thorn Interview (Audio) - Mike Francesa - WFAN