The key to the entire Jazz season is the improvement of the young players. Traditionally, players make their largest jumps between year 2 and 3. However, with bigs it sometimes can be in year 4.
To try to find comparisons to Derrick Favors I ran a simple search, players who were 20 or younger that were 6’9 to 7’0 and played between 2200 and 3800 minutes.
Nine players fit this description ranging from 1994 to 2011. I eliminated Chris Weber Here is a breakdown of each of them and how they progressed in their comparable season to Derrick Favors.
In Biedrins first two years he played just 385 and 1000 minutes. In his third season, at 20, he played 2382 minutes. In that season and his next he averaged 10 points nad 10 rebounds a game. For the next three years he was a 30 minute a night 10/10 players shooting nearly 60% over that stretch.
Biedrins then got the yips from the free throw line and his game has fallen apart. His jump from year 2 when he was 3.8 pts and 4.2 rebs to 9.5 rebs and 9.3 pts is a good sign for Favors.
Bynum is a interesting comp for Favors because he entered the league as an 18 year old and Favors as a 19 year old. Year 2 Bynum player 1793 minutes and got hurt in year 3 playing only 35 games.
However, he jumped from 7.8 pts and 4 rebounds, almost exactly Favors numbers last year, to 13 pts and 10 rebs a game in his third season.
According to basketball reference, Favors defensive rating was 108 as a rookie and 103 last year, Bynum was 105 and 106 his first two years dropping to 101 in his third season.
The third season set the tone for his per 36 minutes for the rest of his career.
Monroe was drafted the same year as Favors but has had a much more natural development. He played a 2,222 minutes his rookie year in contrast to Favors 1,500 and another 2,000 last year whereas Favors played just 1,376.
Therefore, the jump Monroe made year 1 to 2 maybe an indicator of where Favors is in his career. Monroe went from 9 pts and 7.5 rebs a game to 15 points and 9.7 rebs a game in his second year.
Interestingly, Monroe per 36 minutes production really sky rocketed from 12 pts per 36 to 17 per 36. Favors has been at 14.7 pts per 36 since joining the Jazz.
Every aspect of Greg Monroe’s game improved, rebounding, assists and scoring in year 2. If he has another jump he is going to be an all-star for the Pistons. If Favors can take his jump in year 3 Jazz fans will be excited.
Amare entered the league at 20 and played 2,500 minutes in his rookie season. Favors entered at 19 and in his first two years played 2,900.
After his rookie year Amare averaged 13.5 pts and 8.8 rebounds. In his second season he exploded to 20 pts and 9 rebs and then in year 3 went bananas scoring 26 pts and 9 rebs.
Favors doesn’t have the offensive game of Amare. Yet his per 36 minute numbers at the end of last year were 14.9 pts per 36 and 11.1 rebounds per 36 minutes. After Amare’s rookie year was 15.5 pts per 36 minutes and 10.1 rebound.
In the next season Amare jumped to 20.1 pts per 36 minutes and then to 25.9 pts per 36 minutes. Not sure that is in Favors bag of tricks, but it shows the type of jump that can be anticipated from this kind of athlete.
Lopez is a different player than Favors, but still comparable in development because he entered the NBA after two years of college at 20 and immediately played 2,500 minutes in his rookie year. Favors got those minutes in his first two years after 1 year of college.
Lopez jumped from 13 pts per game to 18.8 pts per game in his second year. He had an increase in rebounding but a decrease in rebounding per minutes played.
Lopez point per 36 minutes increased from 15.4 to 18.3 to 20.8 in his first three seasons.
His shooting percentage and rebounding both decreased.
Curry’s career is in the doldrums now but he is worth the look in his early years. Curry’s first two years are very close to Favors, same age, similar minutes at the end and after two years he averaged about 9 pts and 4 rebs. Favors is at 8 and 6.
The next year Curry finally got a lot of time and played 30 minutes a night averaging 15 pts but just 6 rebounds Favors per 36 minutes rebounding numbers show him to be a superior rebounder to Curry. Offensively, Curry had higher numbers in his 1st two years.
Though Curry is a thought of a bust now, he did averaged 15 pts his 3rd year and then 16 the following year, with a high of 19.5 in his 6th year in the NBA.
Staying with what the previous players all showed was a considerable uptick after 2,500 career minutes in their career.
Nene’s career is one of the stranger progressions in the NBA. Derailed by an ACL and cancer he doesn’t follow the usual progression.
Nene played 2,500 minutes in his rookie at the age of 20. He averaged 11 pts and 6 rebs and his per 36 minute numbers were 13 pts and 8 rebounds. To some extent his numbers never changed. He is one of the few players who never took the next step.
It is hard to tell if he was going to take that step, because in his 4th season he played 1 game and in his sixth he played just 16. In his 8th season he finally took the next step.
Hawes is the one player has never gone to the next level. He played 931 minutes his rookie year in Sacramento and then his 2nd year at 20 he played 2,220 minutes. He averaged 11 pts and 7 rebs and shot 46.6%. That has been his best nba season.
His minutes have diminished every season since his 2nd year dropping to 1,900 then 1,700 and last year in the shortened season just 920.
If you lift the limit of not playing 3,800 minutes you include both Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard in this group.
Howard played 2,670 minutes in his first year and averaged 12 pts and 10 rebs and continued to progress in year two 16 pts an 12 rebs and then 18 ptd and 12 rebds before exploding in year 4 with 21 pts and 14 rebounds a game.
Chris Bosh played 2,500 minutes his first year as a 19 year old and then 3,017 in his 2nd year. In his first three years he jumped from 11.5 pts then 16.5 and finally hit his stride in year 3 at 22.5 pts a game. His rebounding took a similar increase.
In almost every case these big man made a significant jump after playing wither 2,500 minutes or playing in the NBA 2 seasons. Favors has hit both of those plateaus. Looking over these players in almost every case the player became a double double player at this point and then continued to take one more significant step in the following season.