RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Terrence JonesPosted by EJacoby on June 23rd, 2012
The 2012 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, in New York City. As we have done for the last several years, RTC’s team of writers (including Andrew Murawa, Kevin Doyle, Evan Jacoby, Matt Patton, and Danny Spewak) will provide comprehensive breakdowns of each of the 35 collegians most likely to hear his name called by David Stern in the first round on draft night. We’ll work backwards, starting with players who are projected near the end of the first round before getting into the lottery as June progresses. As an added bonus, we’ll also bring you a scouting take from NBADraft.net’s Aran Smith at the bottom of each player evaluation.
Note: Click here for all published 2012 NBA Draft profiles.
Player Name: Terrence Jones
Height/Weight: 6’9.5” / 250 lbs.
NBA Position: Power Forward / Small Forward
Projected Draft Range: Mid-First Round
Overview: Terrence Jones entered the 2010-11 season as one of Kentucky’s top two recruits, expected to become a potential one-and-done candidate with elite physical tools and versatile scoring prowess. But Jones decided to stick around for year two after a strong freshman season and was included on the 2011-12 Preseason All-American list, expected to be the leader of UK’s super crop of new rookies. While he was no doubt a key part of the Wildcats’ National Championship team, he regressed some as a player from his first to second year and fell off somewhat while his freshmen (Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist) and senior (Miller) teammates thrived more as team leaders. Jones averaged the fifth-most minutes on the team and saw his scoring and rebounding numbers dip from 15.7 PPG and 8.8 RPG to 12.3 PPG and 7.2 RPG, respectively. The loaded roster explains some of that regression, but Jones also displayed occasional poor body language with an inability to assert himself and fit in with the other stars during some games. He shot 85 fewer free throws as a sophomore and was at times an afterthought in the offense. But in other contests, he proved what a versatile beast that he can be, dominating the paint on both ends with his big, strong frame and extending out to hit some threes to keep defenses honest. He became a scouting report sleeper, not displaying any one skill that teams must account for but possessing the ability to do many things on the floor. His terrific defensive contributions are also notable, racking up nice steal and block numbers with an ability to guard several positions. Jones is strong and versatile but needs proper motivation to produce at a high level.
Will Translate to the NBA: Measuring nearly 6’10” in shoes with a 7’2.25” wingspan, Jones’ legitimate power forward physical traits alleviated concerns about being undersized for a four. He’s a load on the low block who can turn one or two steps into a soaring slam dunk near the basket. But he’s also skilled from the perimeter, showing a solid handle and slashing skills with an ability to knock down long jumpers as well as get his man off balance with the use of a good ball fake. Jones isn’t an elite defender but his strength and length allowed him to tally great blocks (1.8 BPG) and steals (1.3 SPG) numbers, capable of guarding three positions on the floor.
Needs Work: Above all else, Jones need to shed the label that he lacks a strong motor and doesn’t compete hard when things aren’t going his way. This shouldn’t be too difficult, but his attitude issues remain a concern. While he’s quite versatile offensively, nothing is very polished. He can hit a three but needs much work on long-range consistency and mechanics. He can eat up smaller defenders in the post but loses ground against strong forwards, requiring work on his footwork and post moves. And he can drive it and pass the ball, but Jones needs work on his decision-making as a slasher. He must become more consistent and stray from disappearing for long stretches of games as he did as a sophomore.
Comparison Players: Jones draws comparisons to the many versatile forwards in the league who can play both the small and power forward positions. The high end comparisons are guys like Jeff Green and Lamar Odom. Sticking with Odom, who has had a long career that’s easy to fully compare, Jones has a good 20 pounds on him and isn’t the same kind of playmaker or passer. But both are left-handed, the same height, excellent as versatile offensive weapons, and sneaky rebounders and shot-blockers due to great length. Odom can play on the block or as a kind of point-forward from the perimeter. Jones shares a similar skill set.
Best Case Scenario: Jones is another one of the ‘does everything well, but nothing great’ kind of players who are so difficult to assess. He is so intriguing because he has terrific strength to match his versatile skill set. But does Jones have the proper work ethic and desire to keep improving his game? Will he end up just cruising as an NBA afterthought or will he develop specific skills to become trademark advantages? In a best case, Jones shores up his shooting and post moves and becomes a reliable weapon on both ends; again think about Odom either as a valuable sixth man or a starting four who is a constant mismatch.
Best NBA Fit: Jones has a pretty wide draft range, but he is looking more like a post-lottery guy who can become a sleeper for a good team. The best fit for him is a team that will motivate him and understand what drives him to perform at his best. A team that also needs some versatility at the forward position would be a good match. The Dallas Mavericks, ironically, just released Lamar Odom after he failed to fill the versatile sixth man role they expected, and perhaps Jones is their man at #17. Another great fit would be the Boston Celtics at #21 or #22, where he’d fit in well and become a potential massive steal.
Scout’s Take (from NBADraft.net): “Has lottery talent but struggled with consistency throughout his two-year college career. A tweener without a clean shooting stroke, but an aggressive versatile scorer.”
*This post was contributed by RTC’s Evan Jacoby. He can be found on Twitter @evanJacoby.