I love this upcoming draft for a host of reasons. The main one is there are going to be a ton of former Cats selected, further proving Kentucky is the creme de la creme of the college basketball world. Another reason is that I think this is one of the deepest drafts in recent memory. In this draft there will be value in your picks out of the lottery, in the 15-20 range. When you can select players that can immediately contribute at the NBA level in the mid- first round, that is the true mark of a great draft. One guy whose name will surely be called before or during those picks is Terrence Jones. The sky is the limit for this guy. As Kentucky fans, we’ve seen it more than anybody else in the country; this kid can be really, really special. Although a bit undersized to play the power forward position, he has all the tools to be a great player. In the past few years, there has been an influx of smaller power forwards (Griffin, Faried, and even Patrick Patterson) with a lot of tools, that have found success in the NBA. Terrence will be no different. One team that is hoping Jones will be available at their pick is the Pheonix Suns. Their fan blog page recently did a draft profile of the Portland native, outlining his skills and how he would be used in their rotation. Here’s a little bit of it:
NBA size – check
NBA athleticism – check
Mobility/Runs the Floor – check
Shot Blocking – check
Rebounding – check
Finishing at the Rim – check
Outside Shooting – needs improvement
Post Game – needs improvement
Free Throw Shooting – needs improvement
Intangibles – the crux of the dilemma
Jones has most of the tools that can’t be taught. Shooting can generally be worked on and improved. The real question seems to be whether he has the mental fabric to be an elite (or at least above average starter) player at the NBA level? If it weren’t for that issue, Jones would probably be a top 5 pick instead of a player that might even slip to the Suns at 13. If he is still on the board when the Suns pick I would think he will draw serious consideration.
Most teams are questioning TJ’s love for the game and desire to be a great player. And while this might cause him drop a couple of spots, if he can put it all together he could be one of the best players in this draft. The lottery is coming pretty soon and things will be a lot clearer after that. I’m guessing he doesn’t get out of the top 10.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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