Orlando Pinstriped Post turns its attention to the 2012 NBA Draft with a look at mid-tier draft prospects who might be available when the Orlando Magic select 19th overall. Previously in the series: Meyers Leonard, Terrence Jones, Arnett Moultrie, Moe Harkless, Doron Lamb, Tony Wroten, Jeffery Taylor, Andrew Nicholson, Marquis Teague, and Kendall Marshall.
Perry Jones III is a power forward from Baylor who stands 6' 11" inches tall and weighs 235 pounds. The Texas native played two seasons for the Bears, and last season averaged 13.5 points per game on 50% field goal shooting, including 30.3% on three pointers and 69.6% from the free throw line. In addition, he grabbed 7.6 rebounds per game and blocked 0.6 shots per game. In 33 games, he had nine double-doubles, with a high game of 31 points, 11 rebounds, along with two other games of 20+ points and 10+ rebounds.
Even though Jones played 3.2 fewer minutes per game than his freshman season, he attempted 1.2 field goals more per game but averaged 0.4 points per game fewer than his freshman season and shot nearly five percentage points less than his freshman year. His rebounding did go up slightly though, while his three point percentage and free throw percentage went up considerably.
Despite his less-than-stellar numbers, Jones is an intriguing prospect because, according to hoopshype.com, in their evaluation of Jones, says that he has size, speed, athleticism, and the ability to shoot, along with jaw-dropping physical attributes.
Jonathan Givony of draftexpress.com writes similar sentiments about Jones, saying that "he has a tremendous combination of size, athleticism, and skills, making him appear to be capable of doing anything he wants on the basketball court." Givony goes on to write that Jones shows terrific footwork inside the paint, has 3-point range on his jumper, can handle the ball fluidly from coast-to-coast, and is a breathtaking finisher around the basket.
One would think with such lavish praise, Jones would be a sure-fire top-five pick in the draft. So why is he projected to fall so far down in the first round? There's a number of reasons. Givony wonders why we didn't see much improvement from his freshman to sophomore seasons, and points out that Jones' usage rate dropped while his scoring production fell as did his efficiency. He also got to the free throw line much less frequently than he did as a freshman. Givony also points out that Jones is somewhat a jack-of-all-trades, but a master of none, and nothing in his game is especially polished.
Defensively, Jones has great potential, but his poor fundamentals, awareness, intensity, toughness, and lack of focus all have put a damper on his defensive progress in college, according to Givony.
Offensively, Jones needs to improve as a shooter to make him a more efficient offensive player, as Givony notes that Jones attempted 3.5 jumpers per game this past season, but converted only 36% of them.
It would be hard for the Orlando Magic to pass up a player with such tremendous physical attributes and talent if he indeed falls to the 19th pick in the draft, but will they have the coaching ability and patience for Jones to properly develop his talents and become a quality NBA player. There will be an NBA team willing to take a chance on selecting him, but how high will he be picked and will he develop his considerable talents into becoming a quality NBA player or will turn he just turn out to be another bust.