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Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Favors heading to All-Star Weekend

By Jared Zwerling

For a while there, Derrick Favors' name was only popping up in the national headlines as one of the featured guests in a potential Carmelo Anthony trade. But since Mikhail Prokhorov called that off, Favors has been able to focus on his game, and he finished the month of January with his highest points average (6.9), including four double-doubles. Now he's being recognized around the country as one of the featured participants in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge, which takes place during All-Star Weekend on Friday, February 18th at 9 p.m. EST.

Anthony Morrow congratulated his teammate this morning on Twitter: "Shout to my young fella D Fav on being selected to the rook sophomore game, he deserves it, I'm still tryna convince him to get on twitter tho."

The Rookie team also includes:

Eric Bledsoe -- Clippers guard
DeMarcus Cousins -- Kings center
Landry Fields -- Knicks guard
Blake Griffin -- Clippers forward
Wesley Johnson -- Timberwolves guard
Greg Monroe -- Pistons center
Gary Neal -- Spurs guard
John Wall -- Wizards guard

The Sophomore team includes:

DeJuan Blair -- Spurs center
DeMar DeRozan -- Raptors guard
Stephen Curry -- Warriors guard
Tyreke Evans -- Kings guard
Taj Gibson -- Bulls forward
Jrue Holiday -- 76ers guard
Serge Ibaka -- Thunder forward-center
Brandon Jennings -- Bucks guard
Wesley Matthews -- Trail Blazers guard

ESPN.com's David Thorpe says that Favors gets the midseason award for "Best Trade Bait," though he's done nothing wrong.

"It's because he's done so much right. As the third or fourth best prospect in this group (Griffin, Wall, Cousins), Favors is the only player of this foursome on a team that has interest in acquiring a superstar immediately for reasons that go beyond the court. If Favors was playing like he did this summer -- unpolished and uninspired -- I don't think there would have been so much speculation about sending him to Denver. But he has been terrific and already acts like a pro, so New Jersey can entertain thoughts of moving him for a star like Melo. It's quite a compliment. He presents a huge reward but little risk for any team acquiring him."

Tomorrow the reserves for the All-Star Game will be announced. Will Brook Lopez or Devin Harris get the nod? Tune into TNT's NBA pregame show at 7 p.m. EST.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.