Perry Jones to Thunder: Why OKC Is Ideal Landing Spot for High-Upside Prospect

Sim Risso@@SimRissoFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2012

The Oklahoma City Thunder got a steal when Perry Jones III fell to them at the 28th pick in the NBA draft. PJ3, as he is often referred to, has amazing upside, and he's landing in the perfect spot in Oklahoma City.

Jones fell to the Thunder at No. 28 largely due to medical issues stemming from problems with the meniscus in his knee.

Beyond the knee issues Jones has an incredibly high ceiling, but at this point in time, he's also got a pretty low floor. That's because Perry Jones is an amazing athlete, especially for his 6'11", 234-pound size, but he's got a lot of work to do on his basketball skills.

Jones looked lost at times while at Baylor and didn't improve much between his freshman and sophomore seasons, but he never lost the explosiveness that caught scouts' eyes. But now that he's going to a team like Oklahoma City, he should have the perfect opportunity to develop.

Oklahoma City is full of good, young talent, so Jones won't be put into a situation where he's expected to contribute immediately. With him needing to improve on his skills, that's a dream scenario.

Getting drafted late in the first round also helps Jones because it will lower expectations of him a bit. If he was drafted in the top 10, then he would be expected to impact his team immediately. Since he was drafted at No. 28, not nearly as much is expected of him.

That means that the Thunder can slowly start to increase his playing time as he develops. That way, if and when Oklahoma is unable to re-sign stars like James Harden and Serge Ibaka, they'll have Jones ready to step in and fill the void.

Until then, Jones can work on his game away from the spotlight. And if he reaches his full potential, the Thunder will be getting a top-10 talent.

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