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.
NBAdraft.net has him going at 20th overall to Denver, Draft Express 17th to Dallas, Hoops Hype 10th to New Orleans, and CBS Sportsline 17th to Dallas.