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.
“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.
“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.”
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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