We continue our look at potential Rockets draft picks this week with small forward Terrence Jones. The Kentucky product probably won't be a top priority for the Rockets because they like Chandler Parsons at small forward, but if there is a run on big men in front of their pick; Jones could become a value pick. Jones has the talent of a top 10 pick, but concerns about him not having a natural position, and some attitude/effort issues at Kentucky have dropped him down to the late lottery, but more likely between 16-20.
NBAdraft.net compares Jones to Marvin Williams, which I think perfectly sums up the high risk/high reward scenario in drafting him. Williams, who was the number 2 overall pick in the 2005 draft, faced the same questions coming out of North Carolina. Over 7 seasons so far, Williams has averaged 11.5 points, 5.3 points, and 1.3 assists; decent numbers for a role player, but very disappointing for the 2nd overall pick. Jones, like Williams, looks like a jack of all trades but a master of none.
Of the two sides of the ball, I like Jones' game on the defensive end more at this point. Jones is a great athlete and with a 7-2 wingspan, is good at playing the passing lanes for steals and a great shot blocker at small forward. On offense, Jones is better in a transition/up-tempo style of game where he can use his ball handling and athleticism to attack the basket and finish strong. When he's at his best, he is a match-up nightmare. He has some decent moves with his back to the basket against smaller 3's, and has the quickness to face up and blow by when defended by power forwards. He's not a great jump shooter, but isn't a liability in that regard, and he's capable in scoring in other ways.
At his best, I see Jones as a Lamar Odom/Gerald Wallace hybrid. At worst, I think he's still a decent player, probably a role player much like Marvin Williams. He's got great upside and big time potential with his talent, but it's a risky pick and could get whichever GM drafts him fired.