Could Terrence Jones be coming home?
Following a successful high school career at Jefferson High School in Portland Oregon, Terrence Jones was all but set to join the rest of the Dawgs at Alaksa Airlines Arena on the University of Washington campus.
Unfortunately for Husky fans, the lure of John Calipari and the University of Kentucky changed Jones’ commitment at the eleventh hour.
While one will ever know if Jones’ collegite career and draft stock would be the same had he stuck with his original commitment, for Jones personally, the decision was a smart one.
Playing with what was essentially a NBA starting lineup (Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Doron Lamb, Marquis Teague and Jones are all projected to be among the top twenty picks in Junes draft), Jones was exposed to the pro lifestyle on and off the court.
If Jones is available when the Blazers own pick (they were rewarded the fourth pick as part of the Nets / Gerald Wallace deal) is up on the board, chances are he will find himself playing ball in the Northwest.
2) Philadelphia 76ers:
At 6’8″, 240lbs, Jones can give the up and coming 76ers the perfect replacement for Elton Brand, who is nearing the end of his career as a starting power forward.
With Brand and Thaddeus Young holding down the four spot, bringing in Jones as another tweener who can move to the small forward spot as well would give the upstart Phili squad a scary athletic lineup (minus Spencer Hawes).
3) Phoenix Suns:
The Suns need to commit to rebuiliding immediately.
While Steve Nash and Grant Hill can provide solid stats for a couple more years, they deserve better at this stage in their respective careers.
Jared Dudley and Markieef Morris are the present and the future at the forward spots, but the addition of Jones to the lineup give the Suns flexibility to go big with Marcin Gortat, Morris and Jones, or small with Morris, Jones and Dudley.
With a pick in the early teens, Jones is a safe pick for a solid contributor.
4) New Orleans Hornets:
While Carl Landry and Jason Smith have proved to be serviceable, Smith doesn’t project to have a ton of upside and Landry has limited offensive ability (but gives a blue collar effort), adding Jones would give some offensive firepower up front.
With the number one overall pick tabbed to be Anthony Davis, most figure their tenth pick will be used on a guard, but selecting Jones would not be a bad choice and they can work the free agent market for an experienced guard.
5) Detroit Pistons:
The Pistons have been without a solid power forward since the departure of Rasheed Wallace.
Jason Maxiell gives a great effort off the bench, the Charlie Villanueva experiment has fallen short and Jonas Jerebko must return to his rookie season form in order to lock down consistent playing time.
With the selection of Jones, the Pistons would be able to take some pressure off Greg Monroe to be the sole provider in the paint. Jones has the ability to move to the small forward spot if the Pistons choose to go big or if they part with Tayshaun Prince.
What the experts think
Draft experts have Jones on their mock draft boards anywhere between 9-16th. Projected to be a blend of David West and Antawn Jamison, Jones has the skill and build to play either forward position in the NBA, something that will entice front office management come draft night.