Photo: AP Images
18 months ago, Perry Jones III was considered a top-five prospect in the 2011 NBA Draft.After staying in college for an additional year, he slipped all the way to the OKC Thunder at #28 last night.
So basically, the second-best team in the NBA got one of the only prospects in this draft who has a chance to be a superstar.
So why’d it happen?
First of all, there are rumblings that Jones has a knee injury.
ESPN reported that Jones had a “meniscus issue” that forced several teams to red flag him.
Jared Sullinger — who was also a top-5 prospect at one time — was similarly red flagged and slipped to the Celtics at #21.
But injuries aside, it was Jones’ general disposition that scared teams off. Physically, he has all the tools that Kevin Durant has — he’s a 6’11” forward who can put the ball on the floor, shoot, and jump out of the gym. But in his two years at Baylor, he was consistently passive, and never played with the passion and assertiveness that would make him a superstar.
If something clicks, and he decides to play with effort, he could be an All-Star. But without a demeanor change, he seems destined to be a talented, but underwhelming role player.
Interestingly, Jones might have landed in the perfect situation in OKC. The Thunder are considered the closest, most hardworking team in the league. If there was ever an environment to make Jones dedicate himself to the game, it’s OKC.
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