Nets take a close look at Cousins, Favors

Team drafting No. 3 needs power forward

June 22, 2010 

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins have been playing against each other since high school, so working out for the New Jersey Nets three days before the NBA Draft was nothing new.

The stakes were a little higher Monday.

The Nets have the third pick overall in Thursday night's draft, and they likely will have to decide whether to take Cousins or Favors.

The Washington Wizards are expected to take Kentucky point guard John Wall with the first pick, and Philadelphia likely will grab Ohio State shooting guard Evan Turner with the second choice.

Although New Jersey has some interest in Syracuse forward Wesley Johnson, its biggest need is at power forward. Favors of Georgia Tech and Cousins of Kentucky are the top big men, despite having only played their freshmen seasons in college.

The two big men worked out for about an hour at the Nets' headquarters, showing their shooting, agility and stamina.

"It would have made it easier if one guy came in and did very little, and you were extremely disappointed," said Gregg Polinsky, the Nets' director of player personnel. "But we are not disappointed. I think we all walked out of here going, 'these are going to be two very fine NBA players going down the road.'"

Cousins, the Wildcats' center, showed the Nets he has the talent to play power forward, hitting shots up to 20 feet.

A true power forward, Favors' shooting range is limited to about 15 feet, but he has more 'pop' in his leaping ability, Polinsky said.

Favors, who will turn 19 next month, is 11 months younger than Cousins, who said he and Favors first played in the ninth grade in a tournament in Atlanta.

"To be honest, me and Derrick we've been in competition our whole career," Cousins said. "It was always who's better, me or Derrick? After college I thought those days were pretty much over, but we're back at stage one. So I guess you can say that."

When asked who was better, Cousins laughed.

"I'll let you all answer that," he said.

Rivers: Wallace might retire

BOSTON — Boston Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said center Rasheed Wallace is probably going to retire. Rivers said on WEEI-AM on Monday that Wallace told him before Game 7 of the NBA Finals he believed it was the last game of his career.

Wallace has two years left on the contract he signed with the Celtics last summer.

The 35-year-old would finish with 15,860 points and 7,321 rebounds in a 15-year career. The volatile big man was also the most ejected player of his era, with 30 ejections since such records started being kept in 1992.

L.A. cabbie gets $10,000

LOS ANGELES — The apologetic president and CEO of Staples Center owner AEG on Monday gave a $10,000 check to a cabbie whose taxi was burned by a mob when violence erupted near the arena after the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship last week.

"On behalf of all the knuckleheads, we apologize and hopefully that helps you get on your feet a little bit," Tim Leiweke told Abraham Teferi during the presentation at AEG offices.

Teferi, a 41-year-old Ethiopian immigrant with limited English, said the attackers shook his cab to try to turn it over.

"I was thinking they can kill me. That's all I was thinking. They burned the car," said Teferi, who has been in the United States for nine years and has been a taxi driver for seven years.

Leiweke said the taxi was covered by the cab company's insurance, so AEG decided to give the money to Teferi.

"I was more concerned about Abraham because he doesn't have insurance to pay for his food and his house and his livelihood," Leiweke said.

Dozier injured in workout

MIAMI — Miami Heat draft pick Robert Dozier is recovering from a broken left foot and is expected to be sideline for 12 weeks.

Dozier was injured June 15 during a workout at the team's facility. He had surgery three days later to insert a screw into the foot. The forward is expected to be ready for the start of training camp, provided the Heat invite him in for the preseason.

Dozier, who played for UK Coach John Calipari at Memphis, spent last season playing in Greece, with the Heat retaining his NBA rights. He was the last player taken in the 2009 draft.

Blazers move up in draft

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Portland Trail Blazers are paying the Golden State Warriors to move up 10 spots in the second round of the draft.

The Warriors announced Monday they traded the 34th overall pick to Portland for the 44th pick and cash considerations. Golden State also has the sixth pick in the first round. Portland has the 22nd pick in the first round.

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