NBA Draft 2012: Perry Jones III and Biggest First-Round Steals

Luis Batlle@lbatll1Contributor IJuly 1, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 28:  Perry Jones III (R) of the Baylor Bears greets NBA Commissioner David Stern (L) after he was selected number twenty-eight overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder during the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft at Prudential Center on June 28, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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There must be a balance between team needs and available talent, yet still there were certain promising players that got outright overlooked.

Perry Jones III was one of those big-time steals late in the first round of the 2012 NBA draft, as he gave the Thunder a top-10 caliber player at the No. 28 spot in the draft. Talk about an impressive pick up from Sam Presti and Oklahoma City.

These are Perry Jones and the three outright biggest steals of the draft.


Terrence Jones, PF, Houston Rockets (No. 18 Pick)

How a hands-down lottery talent got bumped to No. 18 in the draft is a complete mystery.

Kentucky PF Terrence Jones is especially athletic on defense, both on the perimeter and intercepting passing lanes, and he also boasts a knack for finishing at the rim.

Jones has the body of an NBA big at 6'10'', and with a bit of bulking up, he is set to be a sure-fire scorer and rebounder at the next level.

Last season with his Wildcats, Jones proved he was versatile scorer that could play anything from a swingman to a center. His length underneath is undeniable and separates this unique talent from the rest. On the season, Jones posted 12.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.


Jared Sullinger, PF, Boston Celtics (No. 21 Pick)

Sullinger's draft stock plummeted after NBA doctors gave Sullinger's back injury the red flag, yet it was the Boston Celtics who realized just the type of value they were getting.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 31:  Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts after the Buckeyes lose to the Kansas Jayhawks 64-62 during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superd
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Sullinger, a projected top-10 pick coming into the draft, is a PF that boasts size and an unmatched basketball IQ. He as fundamentally sound and intelligent in the post as any big man in the draft.

This is a player that despite a bad back, has a plethora of potential in the league because of how well he understands the game.

If injuries don't get the best of him, this is a player set to start for years to come in the NBA.


 Perry Jones III, PF, Oklahoma City Thunder (No. 28 Pick)

Jones is just plain nasty when given the rock on the offensive end of the floor.

Last season with the Baylor Bears, Jones posted 13.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. He was relentless rebounding the basketball and has the potential to do just the same in the NBA. 

Coming into the draft, Jones III was easily a top-10 pick and expected by most to not drop out of the lottery. Yet sure enough, one after another, teams passed up on the talent.

Oddly enough, the Miami Heat blew the chance to pick up either Jones or Draymond Green, two bigs that would have given the team the offensive lift they need in the frontline.

The Thunder stepped in and took advantage of what they knew was a promising talent, and once again have proven just how dominant they are on draft day.