Published on June 18th, 2012 | by Bryant West, Columnist0
2012 NBA Draft Prospect Stock Watch: Terrence Jones
Name: Terrence Jones
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Physicals: 6′ 9″, 240 lbs, 21 years old
NBA Position: Small Forward/Power Forward
Current Stats: 12.3 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.9 BPG, 1.3 SPG, 50% FG, 62.7% FT, 62.7% 3P
Jones is another prospect who should have come out last year—he’d have been a lock for a top six selection. But one more year of college didn’t exactly damage him too badly—in fact, it actually helped answer a few of the questions about him.
In his freshman season, Jones was the defacto star at Kentucky, with Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist a year away from joining the Wildcats. Jones sometimes crumbled under the pressure, forced a good handful of bad shots and got in arguments with head coach John Calipari. Scouts began to wonder if he just didn’t have the mental frame to match his talent.
Skip forward a year, and Jones and his Wildcats teammates were NCAA Champions. He was the second leading scorer on the team, behind Davis, and he looked pretty good most of the time as a solid 2nd/3rd option. He still forced some bad shots, but not as many as his freshman year, and his work ethic and determination on the court also visibly improved. While he’ll probably go lower in this draft than he would have last year, it won’t be for lack of improvement… it’ll just be because the class of 2012 is far deeper.
Hit the jump for the rest of Bryant’s piece…
Talent wise, Jones is very all around solid. And his versatility is unmatched in this class by any besides perhaps his college teammate, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. He’s a big guy, big enough to play fringe power forward but also supremely athletic and quick enough to play small forward. He’s got an excellent skill set, although he isn’t excellent at any one thing.
He’s got a decent touch around the basket, although you’d hardly call him NBA ready down low. He’s got good range that goes out to the three point line, although you’d hardly say his jumper is NBA consistent. He doesn’t always play the toughest defense, but when he does, he’s got all the skills—as evident by his 1.9 blocks and 1.3 steals a game. He needs to improve as a rebounder to play at power forward, and needs to improve his ball handling if he’s going to play at small forward.
His inconsistency is a concern. While it was far less noticeable in his sophomore year, he would have streaches in a game where he didn’t play with the same energy that he played with at others. Maybe it was because he was next to Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist, two of the hardest workers in the game, but Jones’ inconsistent motor is a problem. Still, he was never as inconsistent as Baylor’s Perry Jones was, and never looked as bored as UConn’s Andre Drummond did.
Last week it seemed that Jones and Baylor’s Perry Jones were duking it out for Golden State’s No. 7 selection, but it now appears that neither Jones impressed the Warriors that much. Terrence would be a good fit in Golden State, as they need a wing with above-average defensive skills. Still, seven seems a bit high for Jones, who is more likely to go in the later lottery.
Both Draft Express and NBADraft.net have him falling to the Dallas Mavericks at No. 17, which seems a gigantic fall to me. In my last mock, I had him going to Phoenix, but with the news that Austin Rivers has a lottery promise popping up, I’m willing to bet Rivers goes to Phoenix.
The Rockets could use another multipurpose wing, and so could Philadelphia. Dallas just seems a big fall for a guy who really does have lottery type talent.
Conclusion: While he is still bogged down by concerns about his motor, a strong team-oriented season last year at Kentucky helped alleviate some of the problems Jones was facing. With a great NBA body and a wide skill set, he’s one of the more NBA ready prospects in the field.