A player who decided to bypass the draft last year and return to Lexington to help his stock is forward Terrence Jones, who, to me, is one of the most polarizing players in the nation.
I spoke to an NBA executive and asked a simple question.
Which NBA players, in his mind, had complete skill sets. You’d expect the stock answers of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Tim Duncan, etc. But one name that came out early in those examples that surprised me was Dallas’ Lamar Odom.
Think about it. Odom can handle the ball, shoot it from midrange and off the dribble, and rebound. He can defend and finish in transition. He can play point guard and guard power forwards. Most of all he’s an incredible passer with tremendous court vision. He’s not the best 3-point shooter statistically but he makes clutch shots from deep. He’s not the best free throw shooter by percentage but he makes them when they matter. He’s not having his best campaign in Dallas, and the reasons why are unclear, but Odom’s presence in Los Angeles is most certainly missed.
Aside from the obvious comparisons, the knock that I hear on Jones is his focus. But a lot of that has been silenced this season. He’s actually attempted less field goals per game than his freshman year, a clear sign of maturity. He does everything very well, but from what I’ve seen fades at times because he’s not the focal point of the offense and has guards who can dominate it. He also loses out some touches on the offensive end because Anthony Davis gobbles up second chances on the glass.
What you love about Jones is that he defends multiple positions and he can score without a lot of touches. His highest output of field goal attempts this season is the 16 the took against LSU in a game in late January. He finished with 27 points.
If Jones is focused and being active offensively, the Wildcats are unbeatable. He gives them that 3rd scorer that you need to create a tremendous advantage, and defensively he’s a physically active presence on the block and can defend college bigs game in and game out.
– Total NBA package of size and skill.
– 2nd year in a pro-style system has helped overall game.
– Defends both forward spots and can guard big SGs.
– Has the speed/game to play at the fastest NBA pace and the size/game to play at a slow pace.
– Focus game in and game out.
– Consistent shooting range.
– Ball handling versus pressure.
– No defined “go-to” move.
Tommy Dee is the founder of TheKnicksBlog, editor of CHARGED Magazine and is a regional scout for Marty Blake and Associates. Follow him on Twitter.