Better Know a 2012 NBA Draft Pick: Terrence Jones

Apr 2, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Terrence Jones (3) blocks a shot by Kansas Jayhawks guard Travis Releford (24) during the second half in the finals of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball Final Four at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Editor's Note: The 2012 NBA Draft is just around the corner, and that means it's time to start looking at this year's prospects. We've enlisted the help of a couple of our community's top draftnicks to break down as many prospects as possible from this year's class, whether they're high-lottery picks, potential first-round sliders or sleepers that could make an impact on a team from the second round. Today: do-it-all Wildcat Terrence Jones by pantslessyoda1.

PREVIOUSLY: Bradley Beal, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson, Harrison Barnes, Andre Drummond, Anthony Davis, Jared Sullinger.

Team: Kentucky

Expected draft position: Mid Lottery

College career recap: Terrence Jones entered Kentucky in 2010 as a top ten recruit and largely didn't disappoint. The best player on a very good Wildcats team, Jones had an extremely strong first half of his fresman season, but struggled with his shot during the second half, leading to his return to Kentucky for his sophomore season. Recast as a supporting player alongside standouts like Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, his efficiency rose and usage declined as he finished the 2012 season with a bang as a leader of a championship team.

For more information on his freshman year, as well as what was being said about him as a prospect at this time last year, check out Rook's great breakdown. Jones fell off a bit after it was written, but a lot of the points made about him are still valid.

Basic Statistics Per 40 Pace Adjusted (via Draft Express)

Year

GP

Min

Pts

FGA

FG%

2PtA

2P%

3Pt

3PtA

3P%

FTA

FT%

Off

TOT

Asts

Stls

Blks

TOs

PFs

2010/11

38

31.5

20.1

15.7

44.2

13.1

46.5

0.9

2.7

32.9

8.2

64.6

3.1

11.3

2.0

1.5

2.4

2.5

3.1

2011/12

38

29.3

16.8

12.7

50.0

10.9

52.8

0.6

1.8

32.7

5.7

62.7

3.4

9.7

1.8

1.8

2.4

2.2

3.3

Best attributes: Terrence Jones is an off-the-charts athlete who can guard multiple positions and fill up the stat sheet in all categories. Blessed with elite lateral quickness and leaping ability, Jones is a combo forward who will be able to guard a majority of forwards in the NBA. Jones was also a phenomenal shot blocker and ball thief in college. It's worrisome that he needed to be fired up to defend on a regular basis by coach John Calipari, but in the right situation, Jones has the potential to be an all-NBA defender in the mold of combo forwards such as Shawn Marion and Josh Smith.

Jones is also a very good rebounder who managed to pull down almost ten per pace adjusted 40 minutes last season despite playing next to elite rebounders in Davis and Gilchrist. At 6'9 and a chiseled 245 pounds, Jones should be able to box out at the next level and continue to rebound well for his position.

Biggest weakness: Remember how the fans used to groan when Andray Blatche would brick an outside shot when anyone and everyone could see that he'd be better off driving to the basket? Terrence Jones has a little bit of that in him. Despite great handles for a big and elite finishing skills due to his coordination and athleticism, Jones shot only 53% on two pointers last year and 47% the year before, for the most part due to his tendency to take long jumpers. Some of this is excusable - he was the focus of the offense on his freshman team, while his sophomore season was spent next to two other front court players who weren't very good shooters, which can really mess up a team's spacing - but some of it is just his unfocused mentality as a player. He's not a complete knucklehead, not by any means, but he's similar to a lot of big men who can shoot from the outside but probably shouldn't in that he'll take a jumper if the defense gives it to him. There's also little hope that he'll become a player who the Wizards would want to be taking those shots, as his free throw percentage was in the 60s for both of his seasons at Kentucky and his three point percentages were weak.

Why he'd fit in D.C.: He has the ball-handling and finishing abilities to be a very good fast break player. John Wall is obviously a very fast player, plus almost everyone the Wizards have acquired over the last few years has been someone who would excel in an up-tempo offense (the possible exception being Seraphin), and Jones would fit well here. He's also long and athletic enough to defend multiple positions, giving the Wizards the flexibility to pursue more unconventional players as they continue to rebuild.

Why he might not: Terrence Jones might put up points in the NBA, but he most likely won't be very efficient. Without any particularly good three point shooters and with Nene and Trevor Booker the only core players on the roster who are particularly efficient scorers, the Wizards would be setting themselves up to have a very mediocre offense during the John Wall era and potentially a poor one due to issues with floor spacing and bad shot selection. Jones will most likely be a player who averages 15 to 20 points per 40 minutes in the pros, but it's very likely that he winds up doing it with a true shooting percentage in the low 50s or high 40s. That doesn't kill an offense if the person putting up those numbers is a playmaker who's taking bad shots so everyone else doesn't have to, but it can be bad if a player who should be a high percentage finisher playing off of an elite point guard is doing it. The simple solution to this would be to change his shot selection, but that's far easier said than done.

Verdict: Pass with a top five pick, but look for him to fall. Terrence Jones is unfortunate in that he doesn't have a true position on the basketball court. He can play some small forward, but he lacks the refined perimeter skills and outside shot for the position, while he's not quite tall enough to be an ideal power forward. His most likely position is power forward, but this draft is deep at that position and most of the teams picking in the late lottery wouldn't have much use for him - Phoenix is a possibility, as are Milwaukee and Detroit, but the rest of the teams who would be looking at him already have solid players at power forward but large holes in on the perimeter - so it's very possible that he winds up being this year's Kawhi Leonard and falls out of the lottery and into the late teens. Draft picks in that range are very easy to acquire, especially if teams throw in a solid young player such as Trevor Booker or Jordan Crawford, so he just might be an option for the Wizards there.

As a pro, Terrence Jones will be worth having around. Comparing a young, athletic combo forward to Josh Smith is about as much of a cliche as you'll find, but it really does apply to Jones. They have very similar builds and games and while Smith is a better passer, Jones might already be a better outside shooter. Serving as an all-purpose defensive ace and occasional scorer, Jones would be an excellent super sub and would be best leading the Wizards' bench attack a la Lamar Odom with the 2010 Lakers. That's not someone that's worth a top five pick, but it's definitely worth pursuing, and Jones should be very acquirable on June 28th.

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