Perry Jones III
School: Baylor | Year: Sophomore | Age: 20 | Born: September 24, 1991 | Position: SF/PF
Height: 6’11” | Weight: 235 | From: Duncanville, TX | Best Case Scenario: Kevin Durant
Perry Jones III remains an enigma. Possessing arguably the highest ceiling of any player in the 2012 NBA Draft class, Jones has flashed brilliance at times in his first two seasons at Baylor, but has ultimately been unable to elevate his game to the next level and begin to unleash his seemingly unlimited potential. A “tweener” forward, Perry Jones III stands at 6’11” and weighs in at 235 pounds. He possesses an impressive 7’3” wingspan and has excellent agility, having very long running strides. He has a good frame which will allow him to continue to add mass and strength, and he will definitely need to fill in more in order to compete against NBA forwards.
Staying in school was a great decision for PJIII and it really displays his maturity and will to be successful in the NBA. At the end of last season, Perry was suspended for allegedly receiving improper benefits from an AAU coach during high school. However, this year it has publicly came out that PJIII was homeless throughout much of his life growing up and an AAU coach loaned his family money to pay for necessary bills to keep them off of the streets, which his family paid back in full within a year.
Still a very raw player, PJIII does not appear to have above average basketball IQ. He seems to be holding back a bit, and has not brought out consistent aggression and intensity when playing. NBA scouts continue to wait for Jones to unleash himself, and to the confusion of many he has seemed to disappear over long stretches in some games, more so in games against ranked teams this season.
Jones has a prototypical NBA body, and has the dimensions to play small forward or power forward. His future will most likely be at SF because it utilizes his skill set much more. It is not absurd to think that PJII could end up as a SG in the NBA, but in order to find success at SG he will need to polish his midrange game and perimeter shooting. Since he is technically a tweener forward, he often times he ends up somewhere between the post and the wing on many plays. Perry must commit to one position if he is truly going to begin to realize his potential as a basketball player. As a PF, he needs to do a better job getting himself in positions where his teammates can look to him for higher percentage shots, and to improve his rebounding and second chance opportunities. Too often he is hanging around the perimeter when the ball is shot, negatively affecting his impact as a PF.
He is a great dribbler, and despite his size he possesses the skill set of a guard. He is very comfortable when dribbling in the open court and when driving. PJII uses a variety of moves off the dribble, and is equally capable using both hands. Jones can get out of control when driving, and he tends to force drives into lanes that are not there. He needs to develop patience when driving, and to always scan the floor when dribbling.
PJIII is at his best off of the dribble and with his body to the basket, but he has also been improving his repertoire of post moves and his back to the basket game. He does not yet possess elite strength, but instead uses his quickness to get around bigger defenders while featuring a nice turnaround jumper that is virtually impossible to defend, due to his length and athleticism. He is much faster than most big men he matches up against, and is a matchup nightmare for less mobile big men.
PJII is an average passer and is often hesitant when looking to pass, slowing down the offense and allowing the defense to jam the passing lanes in anticipation. Off of the drive, he tends to settle for jumpers and can shy away from contact. He tends to avoid contact when driving through traffic, and takes too many low percentage fade-aways. He is phenomenal in transition and when running the court. On offense, he needs to focus on establishing inside position and to start his moves closer to the basket. PJII needs to keep his body lower especially on the post, as he tends to stand up straight too much, allowing others to bang him around. His high center of gravity keeps him from utilizing his strength to its potential.
Jones possesses excellent, fluid shooting form, and could be a very good shooter with more work. He remains an inconsistent shooter and is not a threat shooting from the perimeter, but his very high release and excellent mechanics give him the potential to be an above average shooter in the NBA. Improved shooting will force defenders to play him closer on the wing, making it easier to drive on defenders.
Perry is good when moving without the ball, and finds holes and makes smart cuts, making it easy for teammates to set him up. PJIII has great hand-eye coordination, and great at catching passes in traffic. When he has the ball near the hoop, he utilizes his elite length and athleticism to finish with high efficiency. He is an alley-oop threat virtually every play.
He is still very far from his potential but has a seemingly endless ceiling. Critics question his absolute devotion to the game and his making himself as good as he could be. In order to take his game to the next level, he is going to need to display consistent intensity and not shy away from contact. Improving his shooting consistency is a must in order to find success in the NBA.
Perry is his own biggest challenge. Has the potential to be a true #1 option on a winning team and possesses the ability to be a shutdown defender. Has many similarities to Anthony Randolph.
On defense, he has all the tools to become a true shut down defender: elite foot speed, length, and athleticism. His length and athleticism will allow him to become a very good shot-blocker, and he is good at timing blocks on the weak side. Needs to improve his overall motor, and closing out on defenders. He is a pretty good rebounder, and when he comes out with high intensity he has the ability to be a very good rebounder.
Follow Perry Jones III on Twitter @Perry_Jones1
Photo Credits: Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press