It sounds like if the Nets' front office is going to trade Derrick Favors, they''re going to have to do a lot of 'splaining to Avery Johnson.
The Nets coach had his preseason lunch with beat reporters and there was a LOT of praise for Favors. As Stefan Bondy tweeted, "Lots of praising of Favors, who Avery compared to (Tim) Duncan and (Kevin) Garnett. Avery would have chosen him over (Evan) Turner - 'no brainer'." He's also told Favors to ignore the trade rumors and rely on him. Johnson said he told Favors, "If I say you're going to be with the Nets, you're going to be here. If you don't hear me say anything, it's not accurate"... That's our agreement." Johnson hinted again that the Nets may start Favors over Troy Murphy.
Johnson talked as well about his former student, Devin Harris, intimating he will be a big part of the offense. In a bit of a surprise, Johnson was full of praise for undrafted rookie, Ben Uzoh, the 6'4" third string point guard, calling him "our diamond in the rough" and indicated he'll probably make the team. The Nets have 16 players with fully guaranteed or partially guaranteed deals. Uzoh, Brian Zoubek and Stephen Graham have partial guarantees.
Meanwhile, Fred Kerber spoke with an executive with another team who predicts that Carmelo Anthony will end up in New Jersey. But Adrian Wojnarowski, reports that the Nets "want Anthony, but they aren’t desperate for him" and are reluctant to deal Favors.
- Avery Johnson bringing charisma, resolve to job as Nets coach - Dave D'Alessandro - Star-Ledger
- Devin's Team - Al Iannazzone - In the 'Zzone
- Johnson gives Harris reins - Al Iannazzone - The Record
5 training camp questions for the Nets - Al Iannazzone - The Record
- Avery On All Things Nets - Fred Kerber - New York Post Nets Blog
Avery sees Favors as keeper - Fred Kerber - New York Post
Farmar: Carmelo would be great for Nets - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Avery's Favor-ite - Stefan Bondy - The InterNets
Nets hush rumors, call Favors a keeper - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- As Training Camp Approaches, Johnson Excited by Opportunity - Ben Couch - New Jersey Nets
Nets want the old slashing, scoring Devin Harris back - Kurt Helin - NBC Sports
- 'Melo's future dominates preseason intrigue - Adrian Wojnarowski - Yahoo! Sports
- Avery Johnson bringing a little of his native New Orleans to New Jersey. No, not the gumbo part. - Kurt Helin - NBC Sports
New Jersey Nets Training Camp: Five Questions As New Season Begins - cpawfan - SB Nation