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Avery Sets Bar High For Favors... Tim Duncan/Kevin Garnett High

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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.