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- Measurables: 6-foot-9, 250 pounds, sophomore forward from Kentucky
- Key Stats: 12.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.8 blocks per game, 50 percent shooting, 33 percent 3-point shooting
- Projected: Lottery to mid first round
- Hickory High Similarity Score
Why I like this guy
The Pistons play two guards in Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey who aren’t natural pass-first players. They have one unselfish big man in Greg Monroe who is an excellent passer. Pairing him with another great passing big man in Jones could make the Pistons a pretty fun team to watch.
Pros for the Pistons
On the checklist of things the Pistons need in their frontcourt, Jones hits a lot of those marks — he’s big, he’s athletic, he can block shots. He’s not the traditional back-to-the-basket big man with those skills the Pistons covet, he’s more of a hybrid with a mix of small and power forward skills. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the Pistons don’t have a clear answer for the future at either position. If they’re picking late in the lottery from prospects who are more limited, at least Jones would have two possible positions they could try him at to see which he’d be best suited to play as a pro. Other late lottery prospects who have similar upside limitations basically only have one natural position, so if they can’t prove to be a starting caliber player at that spot, you don’t get a chance to see if they’d be more comfortable at another position.
Cons for the Pistons
I think it’s pretty clear the Pistons would rather not add another player whose position is somewhat a question into the mix. Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko, Knight and Stuckey all fit that description to some extent — guys who can be effective at multiple spots, but not necessarily at any one spot full-time.
Jones also had consistency problems his sophomore season and regressed some from where he was as a freshman. That’s partially due to the makeup of Kentucky’s team drastically changing around him and impacting his role, but the Pistons have expressed a commitment to players with high energy levels who give consistent effort each game, and fair or not, that has been a criticism of Jones at times.
What others are saying
Sixteen months ago, after a torrid start to his freshman year, forward Terrence Jones was being mentioned as a potential top-five pick as well. His stock has since dropped considerably, but his strong play in the NCAA tournament has piqued the interest of scouts again. Jones is one of the most well-rounded prospects in the draft, has all of the physical tools to succeed, and when he’s on, he looks like a potential All-Star.
For Jones, the question marks are consistency and maturity. He can disappear for long stretches. Calipari has sometimes struggled to get him to play hard all of the time. Teams don’t always like his body language on the court. All of those issues seem to have lessened over the course of the past month. If teams are convinced those issues are over, he could go even higher than we currently have him ranked. We have him at No. 8 on our Big Board and going No. 12 to the Milwaukee Bucks in our Lottery Mock Draft.
When projecting Jones to the next level, there are many opinions on how he could best be utilized and what position he should play, as he seems to be stuck between small forward and power forward. He could probably get away with playing either spot depending on the team, style of play, and the personnel around him.
Length, lateral mobility and quickness off the deck make him a versatile force on the defensive end and on both backboards … Instant fast break potential with his ability to handle and push the rock in transition.
He’s coming off a very strong finish to the season after his draft stock plummeted earlier in the year. The way he played in the tournament is fresh on scout’s minds and he should capitalize on that and keep it rolling through camps.
What is the best thing Terrence Jones does for his team?
Terrence Jones provides a highly desirable and hard-to-find skill set in a forward. He’s a versatile scorer, able to drive from the perimeter or post up in the paint. He can defend on the wing or the interior. And he can rebound well when he’s asked. Jones has to work on playing with a more consistent effort, but the tools are there for an NBA team to work with.
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