Separating Potential from Production with Rising Star Derrick Favors

Ethan Sherwood StraussNBA Lead WriterAugust 8, 2012

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MAY 7: Derrick Favors #15 of the Utah Jazz blocks the shot of Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs during the first quarter of Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at EnergySolutions Arena on May 07, 2012 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Derrick Favors is awe inspiring, just in warmups alone. He's 6'9" in socks, a chiseled 245 lbs and carries a ridiculous 7'4" wingspan. Due to this span, which eclipses his height by seven inches, Favors has a body type that can look utterly impossible—as though sleeves must be protruding from his arms.

Rare is this combination of strength and reach, and his geyser hops make the combo all the rarer. Like Blake Griffin, Favors also has a nasty tendency to deploy his most vicious dunks against our European friends.

And yet, Derrick Favors has been a disappointment at times. The kid is incredibly foul prone, averaging 2.7 whistles a game despite playing only 20.4 minutes. He's an active defender and an off-the-ball force. But such activity has gotten the better of Favors and often taken him off the floor.

The kid does seem to be improving some, though. Last season, he averaged 2.2 fouls per game. Not great, but better than his absurd 3.3 PF mark back with the Nets.

Offensively, Favors has been unpolished. The dunks are thrilling, but he lacks the skills to be continuously involved in an offense. 

To put it uncharitably, Favors can't dribble. His dribbling exacerbates the problem of his already poor passing vision. 

Derrick also isn't much of a shooter and misses free throws to the tune of a 64.9 free-throw percentage. This sounds like an incredibly negative portrait, but the dude is a specimen. It is possible to be a good big man on defense and rudimentary offensive skills alone (see: Dwight Howard).

Favors certainly can leap towards a high ceiling. He's breathtaking to watch and should be an awesome defensive player for years to come. But, for now, it would seem wise to bet against All-Star status.