2012 NBA Draft Combine Coverage: Perry Jones - More Risk or Reward? - June 26
Of all the NBA Draft prospects who've seen their stock slide since the college basketball season has ended, Baylor's Perry Jones III could be the one hurting the most. Despite the success of the his Bears this past season, Jones has gone from a potential top-five pick to somebody who will likely fall out of the lottery.
Highly-touted coming out of high school due to his freakish athleticism for a 6'11" player, Jones just has not lived up to the hype and potential. He had a solid, but certainly underwhelming two-year stint in Waco
At the NBA Draft Combine, Jones was asked if going through the draft process has helped crystallize any supposed misconceptions about his game. "I hope so. I don't know what they're thinking, but hopefully watching them work out helps them clear up some things," he replied.
Among the biggest concerns regarding Jones' game is that he has a reputation for being too soft since he often prefers to hang out on the perimeter rather than use his height and length to post up defenders, who are usually smaller than him. Floating around outside of the paint doesn't help the former Bears' mid-range game, which leaves much to be desired.
Jones isn't naive to the fact that there are many doubters regarding his ability to smoothly transition to the next level. "I don't have a motor," he mentioned as the criticism he's heard. "I'm too laid back. I don't have an energy. I get down on myself when I miss shots," he continued.
There is also the debate as to whether Jones projects to be a small forward or power forward at the next level. He has tried to sell himself as a three during workouts, but has fallen short in his attempt to convince scouts and general managers of just that.
Still, Jones hopes his performance at the Combine was enough to impress some NBA team. "I think I showed a lot more energy than they expected. It's something that's not a strength, but I can make it a strength. I can work on it this summer instead of getting down on myself after missing a shot; move on to the next one. That's what the great players do: they miss a shot; keep shooting. They have confidence in themselves. And I believe my confidence has grown since I left school."
Jones' confidence may have grown since the college basketball season ended, but his NBA Draft stock has not. It will be interesting to see how much of a slide this risk-or-reward prospect will see Thursday night, and which team will roll the dice hoping that he finally taps into his massive potential.