Even though Perry Jones has decided to prolong his college career, we though we’d take a look at his NBA potential. It’s not often that a potential top-5 pick decides to return to school, but unlike Harrison Barnes or Jared Sullinger, the first word that comes to mind with Jones is “potential.” Take a look as we debate the potential of one of the best talents in college basketball.
Boom by Lucas Shaprio
Ignore that his quiet demeanor reminds many of Tracy McGrady. Ignore the fact he did not score one point against Texas Southern when they played Baylor. Ignore that he was suspended for the rest of the season for receiving “benefits.” Ignore it all, because if there’s one player in college basketball that could become an NBA superstar, it is Perry Jones.
The 6-11 and extremely athletic Jones put up 13.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in his freshman season for the Bears, which many would consider a disappointment. This just proves that Jones has a lot of work to do, which is not necessarily a bad thing. He may just need to mature a little more. He is only 19 years old. At least he has room for improvement and is far from being a polished player, unlike many of this year’s prospects.
In high school, Jones only put up 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game in his senior year. Did you expect the kid to put up numbers like Kemba Walker or Jimmer Fredette? After all, Derrick Williams only put up two more points per game than Jones in his freshman year. Jones also did not play with the defending champs (like Kyrie Irving did) or one of the best passers in the nation (like Harrison Barnes did). Instead, he had to deal with LaceDarius Dunn‘s 3.6 turnovers per game.
While it will be up to Jones whether he wants to be a great player or not, it will be key for him to land on the right team. Had he entered the NBA Draft this year, teams like the Washington Wizards, Utah Jazz or Milwaukee Bucks would have been great for him because they all feature a young core that is taking the rebuilding process slowly. Wherever he lands, it will be important for that team to keep the pressure away from Jones, because there’s no doubt that he is a project. Being a project is not always a good thing, but whichever general manager is patient could have a big payoff down the road.
Bust by Kevin Zimmerman
He’s got all the athletic intangibles you could ever ask for; Perry Jones can dribble like a guard, outrun them even, and stands nearly 7-feet tall with his lanky, yet muscular frame.
But skill and a basketball body only go so far. Jones finished his freshman season with so-so numbers indicative of his gentle nature, a soft label that has been accurately given to the top-5 NBA Draft prospect. Unfair expectation has been placed upon Jones, setting him up to be a bust.