NBA Draft 2011: Is Perry Jones Now a Lock to Be Selected No. 1 Overall in 2012?

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NBA Draft 2011: Is Perry Jones Now a Lock to Be Selected No. 1 Overall in 2012?
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Perry Jones has decided to return to Baylor University for another year of college hoops but that does not guarantee that he will be the number pick of the 2012 NBA Draft.

Jones may not even be a top five pick.

It seems like a ton of college players know something we don't about the NBA collective bargaining agreement and I smell a lockout.

Why? Because some highly regarded players, like Harrison Barnes, Brandon Knight and Jared Sullinger have all decided to come back for another year.

That alone makes it hard to say Jones will be the number one pick. As of right now, with the way Barnes closed out his freshman year, he has to be the favorite for that spot.

After Barnes, Sullinger may be the second best prospect, and the best big man, in the draft class. He has the size and athleticism to play in the NBA, with a court sense and intelligence beyond his years.

What Sullinger has over Jones, however, is a clear cut position.

When Sullinger is drafted, the team who selects him will know the type of player they have and what he can offer. That is, a solid four who will hit the boards, and score on the block.

The team that selects Jones gets an incomplete player, and they can only hope he develops the ball handling skills and the jump shot that scouts expect him to in order to become that combo four.

Will Perry Jones be the number one pick in 2012?

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Players like Perry Jones do not have the greatest record of success in the NBA.

Stromile Swift comes to mind. At 6'10", 220 pounds, Swift had an almost identical body type to Jones', and was to play the same style of game, that of an athletic combo forward. Swift is now playing in China.

And the list goes on. See Anthony Randolph, Tyrus Thomas and Loren Woods, to name a few.

Beyond players returning to school next year, though, there will also freshman who will throw their name in the mix.

Anthony Davis, 6'10'' forward going to Kentucky, Austin Rivers, a 6'4" guard going to Duke, and James McAdoo, a 6'9" forward going to North Carolina, are just a few high profile freshman expected to be one and done.

Being selected number one overall is difficult. Being selected number 20 overall is difficult too.

There is a cast of talented players returning to school next year and just as many walking onto campus for the first time.

Perry Jones should have taken advantage of the hype, because it may not be the same next year.

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