Imig: Bucks bring in two Joneses for a look
Are the Bucks willing to add yet another power forward to their roster?
That's one of the underlying questions facing the Bucks as they approach the June 28 draft, and by the look of their workout on Wednesday they certainly appear to be entertaining the possibility. The Bucks finally got a look at Terrence and Perry Jones on Wednesday (Jim Paschke video recap), matching the two big and ultra-talented forwards against one another in a six-man workout that also featured Mississippi State four Arnett Moultrie and Czech combo guard Tomas Satoransky. And while Perry Jones has generally attracted more attention over the past month--for better or worse--it's Terrence Jones who probably intrigues me most.
"He's really a hybrid," McKinney said. "When you watch him play, he's a guy that when you look at his individual skill set, when you get him into a game is really when you see what he can do. He can play multiple positions defensively. Offensively, he has the ability to step on the floor and make threes or just make outside shots, but he also can put it on the floor.
McKinney also singled out Terrence for his intensity during the workout, an encouraging sign for a player who early last season saw his focus and motor questioned by Kentucky coach John Calipari. Built like a tank and measuring out with PF size (6'9.5" in shoes, 7'2.25" wingspan, 252 pounds), Jones has been labeled a tweener by some, but I like him most as a face-up four whose versatility can keep opposing power forwards off balance.
Though a good college post player, Jones is equally comfortable using his quickness and handle to take guys off the bounce, while his spot-up jumper is a work in progress but can at least keep defenders vaguely honest. He also rebounded and blocked shots at a fairly high level in college, encouraging signs for a guy whose upside scenario might be somewhere between Josh Smith and Lamar Odom. Sadly the Bucks don't have any shortage of fours, but I'd rather take my chances with Jones on a rookie deal than shell out $10 million annually for Ersan Ilyasova. It's not that I expect Jones to become a star, but he proved last year he could be a versatile, productive player on a stacked team that couldn't always get him consistent touches. Along with his strength and athleticism, that should help him adapt to the NBA more quickly than most.
I want to like Perry Jones III as well, but it'd be easier if I could think of any college underachievers who blossomed into stars once they hit the NBA hardwood. Unfortunately, disappointing at the collegiate level is highly correlated with doing the same in the professional ranks. As it stands, I just worry that Perry lacks the mentality and makeup to translate his immense physical tools (over 6'11" in shoes and a 38.5" vertical? Damn) into similar on-court production. He seems to be a swell kid and doing his best to combat the cynical perceptions of his game, but listening to him explain his supposed lack of motor and confidence over the past month hasn't always been convincing.
Of course, in the late lottery you don't need a guy to be a superstar to make him worth your while, but with Perry it's tough to know exactly what you're getting. Speaking in Milwaukee, Jones seemed to back off his attempts to sell himself as a wing, which is probably for the best given his perimeter skills are good for his size but not particularly notable compared to NBA small forwards. Provided he gets comfortable mixing it up with power forwards on the defensive end (a not insignificant caveat), Jones would seem best suited to using his handle and quickness against bigger guys more used to defending on the block. Either way, it's difficult to say where the Baylor product might stand on the Bucks' draft board--if ever there's a guy who might divide a scouting department it's him.
Not to be overlooked, Moultrie averaged an impressive double-double for Mississippi State after transferring from UTEP, and it's tough to find any concerns with his impressive physical talents (6'10.75" in shoes, 7'2.25" wingspan, 37.5" vertical). On the downside, Moultrie's lack of shot-blocking raises questions about his defensive effort and instincts, while he's also a year older than both Joneses and turned some heads with negative comments about his teammates last year. Moultrie would be a stretch at 12, but could represent a good bargain if he falls into the 20s. Maybe a Marreese Speights-type talent? Wait, is that good?
Standing nearly 6'8" in shoes, Satoransky is an intriguing combo guard prospect currently projected in the second round. He's likely to be in Spain for another two years, but considering the Bucks' current roster congestion that might not be a bad thing should they roll the dice on him in the second round. Check out DX's scouting report and some video highlights.
If the mock drafts are to be believed, it would appear the Bucks are still leaning towards either Illinois center Meyers Leonard or one of the two North Carolina big men, Tyler Zeller and John Henson. But the Bucks have remained fairly coy about their intentions to date, with the possibility that a few more potential lottery options could work out before the draft a week from today. Since John Hammond arrived in 2008, the Bucks have only picked one player that they didn't have in for a work out (Jodie Meeks in 2009), so for better or worse the universe of options will likely be limited to whomever the Bucks will have seen by next week. For now that would limit the likely options to Leonard, Zeller, Henson, and both Joneses, while the Bucks would have to make an exception to their usual rule to select players such as Austin Rivers or Jared Sullinger.
Odds & Ends
- As first discussed yesterday, Gery Woelfel posted a story yesterday about the Bucks' issues getting certain prospects to schedule workouts in Milwaukee. To which I would say: it's not as bad it's being made out to be.
- Charles Gardner has more on the Joneses, including video of their media session.
- At SB Nation, Tom Ziller mocks Perry Jones to the Bucks.
- NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper projects Meyers Leonard.
- Austin Rivers discusses his decision to only work out for five teams.
- In his aforementioned video report, Paschke reports that the Bucks expect to hold additional workouts on Sunday and Monday. Let's hope we see some additional lottery talent--Jeremy Lamb and/or Terrence Ross would be nice.