In our first few RaptorBlog Draft Profiles, I mentioned a couple of guys (Moe Harkless and Terrence Ross) who kind of flew under the radar but could be mid-to-late first round steals. In our next profile, we get to a guy who is just about the opposite, a prospect who was considered among the top draft eligible players over a year ago, played for a major program and slowly saw his stock plummet.
I’m talking, of course, about Terrence Jones.
Terrence Jones – Forward – 6’9, 252 lbs.
Terrence Jones is one of the enigmas of the 2012 NBA Draft class. This is a guy who was projected near the top of the 2011 Draft for some time before failing to consistently wow scouts and eventually falling behind bigger names in the 2012 Draft class.
While some mock drafts have Jones going as high as No. 7 to Golden State, most have him in the late lottery or just outside the lottery teams.
The knocks on Jones are well documented. For long stretches at Kentucky, he seemed to be coasting and content with his situation, jacking up jumpers and displaying less than inspiring body language, leading many to believe that he’ll never get the most out of his body and talents. It’s hard to argue those early judgements, but as long as you’re not expecting him to become your franchise guy, I still believe Terrence Jones can be a very valuable NBA player.
He’s been blessed with the type of body frame and athletic versatility that can see him turn into a dominating player at multiple positions (most notably of course, the two forward positions). When he decided to attack the basket, few players in college basketball could stop him, and if his body continues to develop, he can terrorize rims in the NBA as well.
His incredible wingspan (7’2″) and strength make him an above average defender and rebounder. He can run the floor well for his size. Quite frankly, from an ability standpoint, there’s little Terrence Jones can’t do on a basketball court.
The question with him, until he proves us wrong, isn’t can he do it, but rather does he want to do it, does he care about maximizing his talents?
He had flashes of brilliance at Kentucky, and his performance in the national championship game (Jones was solid, despite not putting up gaudy numbers) makes me think he’s the type of player that needs to get “up” for games instead of just being “up” for every game. The other thing I’ve noticed is that while most passive players even look passive while they’re playing well (think Lamar Odom), Jones seems to be playing with a chip on his shoulder when he’s locked in, and that tells me you can get something out of him if you have a coach who knows how to push the right buttons (Dwane Casey?).
There will likely be frustration at times for whichever organization and fanbase takes on Terrence Jones, but if that organization is convinced they can get the best out of him, or anything close to it, it will be well worth the risk.
Like everybody, I have some doubts, but if Terrence Jones’ name is called with the No. 8 selection, I won’t exactly be disappointed.