Detroit Pistons #DraftDreams: Perry Jones III


  • Measurables: 6-foot-11, 235 pounds, sophomore forward from Baylor
  • Key Stats: 14.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists per game while shooting 50 percent from the field and 30 percent from three
  • Projected: Top 10
  • Hickory High Similarity Score

Why I’m intrigued by this guy

I profiled Jones last year before he decided to stay in the draft, and the book on him is basically the same: superstar upside with serious questions about how hard he will push himself to be a franchise player.

If you lined all of the prospects in this years draft up and evaluated solely on who was tallest, could run the fastest, jump the highest, dribble through cones the quickest … Jones might be the No. 1 pick. But for two seasons at Baylor, he’s seemingly been content with being pretty good, not fully tapping into the immense physical gifts he possesses.

In all honesty, he’s the prototypical recent Joe Dumars draftee (other than Greg Monroe) — position-less, possessing fantastic measurables, but ultimately meriting lottery consideration based more on what he could accomplish some day as opposed to what he has accomplished to this point as a college player.

Pros for the Pistons

Jones does some things that would immediately help the Pistons. He runs the floor beautifully. He finishes well. He has good hands. He can move without the ball. All of those things fit very well with the other young players perceived as Detroit’s current building blocks. Guards Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight are both much, much better passers in a faster tempo than they are in the halfcourt, so having a player who can run with them and finish would be a nice advantage for both. Greg Monroe is adept at finding cutters who hang around the basket, and it’s easy to see Jones on the receiving end of precise Monroe passes from the high post.

If he can improve his perimeter game enough to be a full-time small forward in the NBA, Jones would be the heir apparent to Tayshaun Prince. It’s unlikely that he’d enter the league as ready to contribute as Monroe was or mentally tough enough to work through mistakes and still stay confident in big minutes like Knight was, but Jones’ presence could possibly give the Pistons enough incentive to start gradually minimizing the ample role Prince has played the last few seasons. That would benefit both the Pistons and Prince.

Cons for the Pistons

There are several noticeable things Jones doesn’t do just yet. His 3-point shooting improved this season, but it’s still a pretty poor 30 percent. The Pistons really need to add another floor-spacer to create driving lanes for Knight and Stuckey.

Jones’ overall field goal percentage also dropped, he got to the line less and he blocked fewer shots on a per-minute basis as a sophomore too. Some of this could be attributable to the fact that Jones, a likely lottery pick last year had he declared, may have been preoccupied with his future rather than his present. It frequently happens with big-time NBA prospects in college.

If Jones is a small forward in the NBA, then he’ll be a very good rebounder for his position. If his offensive skills don’t develop enough to play that position, there will be questions about whether he’s strong enough to play the four full-time.

What others are saying

Chad Ford:

Perry Jones is both an elite athlete and has a great face-up game that wasn’t always used well at Baylor.”If he comes in and really starts hitting shots, he could go very, very high,” one GM said. “As a power forward, I think he’s going to be a disappointment in the league. But if he could be a Paul George-type player? He could be special. George was accused of being laid-back in college, too. It’s why he slipped to No. 10. Now you see the way the Pacers use him and you think the sky is the limit for him.”


One thing that no one ever questions is Perry Jones‘ talent. Just how rare and unique a player he is becomes immediately evident the moment you start watching him. He has a tremendous combination of size, athleticism and skills, making him appear to be capable of doing anything he wants on the basketball court. He shows terrific footwork inside the paint, has 3-point range on his jumper, can handle the ball fluidly from coast to coast, and is a breathtaking finisher around the basket.

A super athletic forward with an enormous upside … His explosiveness and physical package put him in a very rare group of players even at the top level … Possesses the versatility to play inside and on the perimeter … He is extremely fast, using his long and powerful strides to cover great distance in a very short time … A very natural and smooth athlete, he is able to change direction and get off the ground (even on 2nd and 3rd jumps) with ease … Has the ability and confidence to handle the ball in the open court and is willing to push it out in transition once he gets it off the glass … Shows an intriguing repertoire of moves off the dribble (going to both hands), add to that his extremely long and fairly quick first step and it makes for a very difficult weapon to match up with off the bounce … He has a knack for moving without the ball; he makes good cuts going to the basket and knows how to find the openings off drive & dish or pick & roll situations … His ability to catch difficult passes in traffic also makes him a good passing target inside … Once his catches the ball close to the hoop, he is an extremely efficient finisher, because he knows how to utilize his length and leaping ability … He is able to do some damage on the low block because of his reach and athleticism, but he is most effective when facing up, because he can use his quickness to get by opposing bigs … He is a decent rebounder, and when he makes up his mind to go get the ball, he becomes a threat on both ends of the floor … Has the potential to become an impact player on the defensive end, where his wingspan could wreak havoc in the passing lanes and in the blocked shots department.


Basketball isn’t always easy when you’re tagged as a one-and-done player before puberty.

“My heart goes out to him,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “He gets judged on his potential instead of where he is now. If he wanted to be judged like an NBA player, he’d be in the NBA.”

Instead, at least for a few more months, Jones remains in Waco. The 20-year-old cartoon fanatic who loves to play paintball returned for his sophomore season because he realized he lacked maturity. Before turning pro, Jones said he “wanted to become a man.”

What is the best thing Perry Jones III does for his team?

Evan Jacoby (follow him on Twitter) is the lead NBA Draft analyst for Rush The Court:

A polarizing prospect, PJIII has undeniable talent and displayed an ability to do any and every thing on the floor at Baylor, albeit with underwhelming overall productivity. His handle, touch, and leaping ability for a player his size (6’11”, 220 lbs) is as rare a combination as you’ll find in the NBA, which makes him such an intriguing prospect. Perhaps most impressive is his ability to face up on the perimeter, where he can easily blow by bigger forwards but keeps defenses honest with a confident mid-range jumper. Against smaller defenders, he can feast inside with good footwork and finishing ability. If Jones ever figures out how to use his body and be more efficient with his opportunities, he has All-Star upside.



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