Utah Jazz: Derrick Favors, Devin Harris meet up with new teammates
The athletic 19-year-old has had a rocky rookie season — in part, he believes, because he's had to deal with his name constantly getting tossed about in trade talks since being the No. 3 overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft.
"I was mentally drained from it — just hearing my name in trade rumors all season," Favors said. "I'm relieved, and I'm with a team that hopefully I'll be here for a while so my name won't be thrown around in trade rumors."
The one-year Georgia Tech post player's offensive game has yet to blossom in the pros, but he said he brings "defense, rebounding, blocking shots, just playing with a lot of energy" to the court. Favors also claims to be a hard worker who is eager to immerse himself into the Jazz's ways.
"I've got to learn the plays, learn the system," he said. "But as soon as they're ready for me, I'll be ready."
Favors is still somewhat surprised — in a pleasant sense — that he is with a new team. For months, he'd been rumored to be Denver-bound as part of the proposed Carmelo Anthony deal that fizzled. That came as a relief to him, though.
Of course, Favors wasn't expecting to be headed to Utah via Indiana (and Detroit on Saturday), either.
Corbin said the Jazz will "try to make him comfortable first," and bring him along slowly to complement the games of Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson.
"I know his head's spinning from being traded," Corbin said.
Added Harris of Favors: "I think he's still trying to figure out what he does well. He's very athletic. He's a smart player, big body, strong kid. He's only 19 years old. He's got a lot of room for growth."
As for Harris, he's enticed about joining a team that is used to positive results.
"I'm coming into a winning tradition," he said. "They expect to win."
Harris believes he was brought in to continue that tradition, as does his new coach.
"He's an experienced point guard. He's been around. He's been successful in the league," Corbin said. "His speed, his leadership ability will help us, his toughness on defense will help us and just his experience in the league, and he's been a winner and that will help us also."
For how long?
It might be too early for Harris to tell if it's right for him to establish roots in Utah. The soon-to-be 28-year-old is under contract for the next two seasons.
"I'm just trying to get through the first game right now," Harris said, laughing. "We'll see how it goes."
The excitement begins tonight.
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