NBA teams started detailed evaluations of Derrick Favors months ago, says high school coach

BELIEVE IT OR NOT: Favors is only 18 years old, and technically could be a high school junior at South Atlanta. Yet he is an impending NBA lottery pick (AJC file)

BELIEVE IT OR NOT: Favors is only 18 years old, and technically could be a high school junior at South Atlanta. Yet he is an impending NBA lottery pick (AJC file)

Derrick Favors‘ high school coach said NBA teams have been in regular contact since December in anticipation of the prodigy’s decision to turn professional.

On Friday, Favors announced he was leaving Georgia Tech after one season to declare for the NBA draft.

“I’ve talked to around a half-dozen teams, and they want to find out about Derrick’s background and character, and know what type of kid he was growing up,” South Atlanta High coach Michael Reddick told the AJC on Friday.

It was a beneficial situation for Reddick, who is part of Favors’ inner circle. The coach had the opportunity to ask NBA teams for feedback about his prized player.

“I’ve had a few calls with (NBA people) saying he’s projected to go anywhere from No. 1 to 10,” Reddick said.

Wait a minute — did you say No. 1? “Even at 10, that’s still a lottery pick and still very high. It depends on which teams work deals, and who needs what. You never know. It’s all speculation.

If Derrick Favors had asked for your advice, what would you have told him?

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“Since everyone knows he is going to go in the top five, top 10, I think everyone knows that was a given (to declare). I think anybody projected in the top 5-10 would probably come out.”

Reddick said he last talked with Favors on Tuesday, and has known “for awhile” about Friday’s announcement.

“I’m happy for Derrick and his family,” Reddick said. “I know it has always been a big dream of his to go to the NBA. It has been something he talked about since he was in middle school. This is a step in that direction for him. I’m proud of Derrick, and I wish him the best of luck.”

What advice did Reddick give? “We’ve had some nice talks. I’m not going to be deep into (his big decisions) unless he calls me and asks me about it. I’m always going to be there to make sure he knows what I feel is the right thing. But he’s a man and it is up to him to make his decisions on his own.”

Reddick said he refused to push for the NBA or another year at Georgia Tech, leaving the choice to Favors and his family. However, now that Favors has gone public with his decision, the coach will reveal his personal opinion.

(RELATED: Now that Favors is gone, will Georgia Tech make a huge push to sign the AJC’s Mr. Georgia Basketball, Westlake’s Marcus Thornton? Click here)

“My position is simple: It’s a profession to make money. When you’re hot and going to be an NBA lottery pick, staying in college would be something that you lose you money in a professional way. If you come back another year, that’s another year you’ll never get back for your professional career and salary.”

Favors traded the Gold (uniform) for the Green

Favors traded the Gold (uniform) for the Green

The 6-foot-10 Favors had his ups and downs at Georgia Tech, but finished strong and won ACC Rookie of the Year honors. NBA teams are infatuated with his enormous potential at such a young age (18 years old, birthday is July 15).

Reddick predicts his game will be polished rapidly in the pros.

“They have great coaches in the NBA to dedicate to whatever area your game needs to improve in. If they think you have that kind of potential and talent, they will hone it. I’m looking forward to it, I’m excited for him, and I think he is going to one heck of a pro.”

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18 comments Add your comment


April 9th, 2010
4:47 pm

Good luck. Can’t fault him for a top ten NBA pick.

Delbert D.

April 9th, 2010
5:22 pm

So glad to see this person go to the NBA. Paul Hewitt will *never* win because he will *never* learn to recruit team players who actually want to be at Tech.

NoCoach Blewitt

April 9th, 2010
5:54 pm

Good luck Derrick!! Great choice getting as far away from Blewitt as possible

Ugh and to think we could be interviewing Brad Stevens right now…. Thanks Paul


April 9th, 2010
7:26 pm

National Championship with Hewitt at the helm!! That is a laugher.

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Tech Fan

April 9th, 2010
9:37 pm

Paul has not left this program in good shape. We are loosing 4 of our top 6 players (if you count Bell); including all of our top scorers and rebounders. We have decided not to renew our season tickets next year and will reconsider only after Mr. Hewitt is replaced.


April 9th, 2010
10:37 pm

You Paul Hewitt detractors are doing more harm to the program than he is. You guys just don’t get it. Your negative attitudes affect the program. It hurts recruiting and, even more importantly, it hurts the morale of the program. Who exactly do you want to bring in? Everyone keeps talking about how Coach K can keep his guys around. Well . . . that’s why he’s Coack K. There’s only one of him, and I don’t think he’s going to leave Duke to come to GT. Please, exercise some patience. This is not a problem that is unique to GT. Either he’ll start winning, or he’ll get fired. In the mean time, if you’re true fans, SUPPORT YOUR TEAM!! Don’t constantly tear it down.


April 9th, 2010
10:37 pm

If he is a 1st round pick, not to say top 10 pick, it is a no brainer, go get that money!!!

Fair & Balanced

April 9th, 2010
10:56 pm

Someone explain to me why this wouldn’t work. Favors could be drafted, and if the drafting team agrees, be allowed to stay in school to grow, develop his skills and work on his degree. Like the baseball farm system. So what if he has a contract and has money, lots of kids in college have money, at least the ones with rich families. Explain to me how finding a way to keep these young men in college would be detrimental to anybody or anything.

California Jacket

April 10th, 2010
12:22 am

Don’t blame him for not wanting the money but from what I saw of his playing this year, I think he will be riding the bench most of next year, learning how to play with the big guys. He is just not ready yet for the NBA. One more year of college ball would have made him a potential starter on most NBA teams. Hey, setting and watching and getting payed for it is “good”.


April 10th, 2010
2:34 am

‘Tech has zero talent coming back. They’ll be lucky to make the NIT next year. But, hewitt’s contract will get rolled over again!


April 10th, 2010
7:10 am

Look, Techie, we all LOVE GT, but love cannot be unconditional. And it is always emotional as love is perhaps the strongest of emotions (and the flip side of the 2nd – hate). The fact that there are so many Tech ‘lovers’ out there is a good thing. The fact is, we do care. And care quite a bit.
Do not lecture us. We don’t need it, we understand what is going on and why.
Sometimes you must tear down to build back up. Ask John Hunsinger or any of the other poo-bahs in the Tech circle who’ve made fortunes in real estate.
Sure, we’re angry about Hewitt. We’re not hating on the man ‘Hewitt’. We are hating – if you want to us that word – on the foolishness and near insanity of the situation. A situation brought about by emotional decisions made by past regimes.
It isn’t personal. It’s just business. (Apologies to Michael Corleone)


April 10th, 2010
7:25 am

Glad to see him get his money. The NBA has become a watered down sport (boring) and NCAA basketball is like watching minor league baseball. Nothing to build on and you have to hope another one and done high school kid can play next year. I’ll find a better use of my money and time.


April 10th, 2010
7:57 am


Derrick D.

April 10th, 2010
10:19 am

Tech should stop offering full scholarships in basketball. Unless the prospects can qualify academically for a full ride, limit the scholarships to 75%. Make the scholarship a commitment both ways. Under the current NBA draft rules (*none*), this sport has become a joke for the majority of big Div. 1 schools.


April 11th, 2010
8:13 pm

Don’t blame the kid. If he decided to come back for another year, who knows? Maybe the gets a permanent injury. Man Tech is really gonna suck next year.

There is really a simple solution to this mess. Let the kids that wants to jump straight to the NBA right out of high school do just that. If they are not drafted at a spot that they think that they should have been taken then let them go to a college then. Now here’s the catch, they should have to sign a 4 year contract before any school would be willing to take them. As a matter of fact all kids entering into a university under an athletic scholarship should have to abide by the contract unless said university allows them to transfer or drop out. They must complete the contract before being allowed to enter the NBA draft again. The 4 year contract would stop them from getting purposely kicked off the team be it by failing, not attending class, skipping practices or for other reasons. After the 4 year contract is up they then and only then are free to do whatever they wish. If they drop out of school before the 4 year period is up the school still has them under contract and can put them to work. Cutting grass, washing dishes in the cafeteria, doing laundry, there are many chores that they could do. For minimum wage of course. Don’t give me that it is not legal crap. If they don’t want to sign the contract to attend a school then they can just sit home, nobody is forcing them to sign anything. It’s time that the NCAA puts a stop to this crap. Can you think of a better way?

Big B

April 12th, 2010
1:49 pm

This aritcle was about Derrick and his highschool coach can we keep Hewitt’s name out of this for once…And those who think derrick not ready you are stupid look at Chris Bosh at Tech they didnt make the big dance.


April 14th, 2010
9:43 am