Is Jones a baller?

After reading many of the evaluations of Jones, I'm forced to wonder whether Rudy, a 24th pick, is worth the cost. As most of you know, we got a trade exemption in the Zach to NY deal that we sent to Phoenix along with cash for Jones and the rights to Rudy (let me know if I'm wrong). From the beginning it was obvious that we weren't making the deal for Jones, but to acquire Rudy. We wanted Rudy and Phoenix wanted to cut salary. Win-win...or is it?

I've gone on record thanking Paul Allen for his deep pockets so I'm not too concerned about taking on Jones' contract. What I'm concerned with is that Jones might be a smokescreen cure for the SF position. Is it possible he's a true baller that wasn't able to shine in Phoenix? What level of player do you see Jones becoming for Portland?

  1. Starter
  2. Rotation player
  3. Limited Bench
If he's anything less than a starter, should we waive him and bring back Ime, a proven veteran leader? Would that even be possible?

I'm prepared to give Jones time to display his skills, but how much time should we spend on this position when "solid starter" is all we need? Granted, Ime wasn't in our age window, but his experience, character, and work ethic would have been valuable traits to have rubbing off onto the young kids in that locker room.

I expect KP to wait until the dust settles and see how the team works together before he makes another move, but I do foresee a move by the trade deadline in February. We simply have too many Bench players (ie multi-positional players). We've got Jones (untried), Outlaw (inconsistent), Miles (tubby), and Webster (mental). Outlaw has the best chance of claiming the starting role and Webster would be a nice suprise, but I believe we'll be looking elsewhere shortly. We can't wait for 2009.

If we're getting Rudy in next year, shouldn't we have the rest of the starters figured out before we start grooming our sixth man? It's like we're trying to bake but can't decide whether to use cake flour or bread flour when all-purpose flour is good enough. Just get the ingredients mixed and in the oven because the frosting is due in next year.

I love cooking analogies.

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