Perry Jones III 2012 Rookie of the Year

We simply must draft this kid if he is still on the board at 11. Especially if we're going with either a guard (Lillard, Beal) or a center (Drummond, Sullinger) with the 6th. Let me explain how, if we draft him and play him correctly, Jones will be the next RotY..

First of all look back at the last 10 RotY winners. None of them were defensive. So... sorry Anthony Davis, I'm sure you'll have a great season, but I can't imagine the Hornets playing through you enough on offense to warrant a RotY award. Especially if they get Eric Gordon back and he dominates their scoring. Now look at who else will be on the board ahead of Jones: Robinson and MKG aren't going to throw up dominant offensive numbers. Drummond, Sullinger? Both are NBA ready defensively but I can't see either of them having the type of rookie season that wins awards. Same with John Henson, Meyers Leonard, Tyler Zeller and Terrence Jones. Those guys just don't have the NBA ready offensive game needed to win a RotY these days.

So who does that leave? Harrison Barnes, Austin Rivers, Dion Waiters, Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard, Kendall Marshall or Jeremy Lamb.

All 7 of those guys have RotY potential IF (big if) they land in a perfect situation. They aren't going to be scoring a ton of points right off the bat if they lands in places that already have proven go-to scorers like Sacramento or Golden State. A situation like Charlotte or Washington (or to a lesser extent Cleveland and Toronto) would be ideal for Barnes, Lamb, Rivers, Beal or Waiters. They could step in, play well, earn a starting role and put up nice enough numbers to make some noise in the RotY race (kind of like Klay Thompson did last year after the Monta Ellis trade). Lillard or Marshall probably wouldn't be as expected to score like a Brad Beal would but they'd have greater expectations to share the ball and lead the team. Any of these guards would have to step into starting roles right away and put up 15-20 points per game, 5-7 assists and 3-5 rebounds to get consideration (I took those numbers from an average of former RotY winners CP3, Brandon Roy, Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans and Kyrie Irving).

Which leads me to Perry Jones III and the Portland Trailblazers.

Forwards that have won RotY in the last 10 years have had much less expectation to put up great assist numbers (with the exception of Lebron, but he is on a whole different planet) and contribute much more on the defensive end. Blake Griffin (22ppg, 12rb), Kevin Durant (20ppg, 4rb), Emeka Okafor (15ppg, 10rb), Amare Stoudamire (15ppg, 8rb) and Pau Gasol (17ppg, 8rb, 2blocks) were all able to put up 15-20 points per game and add (with the exception of KD) 8-12 rebounds. To achieve those types of numbers you need to have the right situation where the player is getting starter's minutes, is consistently featured in the offense and puts in 100% effort on defense. Lets see how Perry Jones III can do that for us.

Jones' athleticism is definitely there. So lets set that aside. His height and length are NBA ready. Great. His strength and size are decent and he has the type of frame that will be able to add weight. Basically his body is more or less NBA ready. His numbers over two years at Baylor hover around 13ppg and 7rb. Adjusted for 40min it looks like 16-17ppg and 8-9rb. Starting to look like Stoudamire, Okafor or Gasol rookie numbers. Now of course he'll need a clear path to a starting role or starter-type minutes. For this we will need to move Wesley Matthews to the bench and shift Nic Batum over to the SG spot. Starting Perry Jones III at SF? I say YES ! He has the length, quickness, foot speed, hops, overall athleticism to guard most 3s. And on the other end not many teams will have an answer for him at the 3 spot. Coaches may have to end up shifting over a PF to guard him which makes all sorts of mismatches for us, especially Lamarcus Aldridge. With a starting role I see Jones III putting up a number line like 15ppg, 8rb, 3ast, 1block, 1steal. If it translates to wins for us, Rookie of the Year is in the bag for him.

The bad: Jones' stock seems to be falling for two reasons. One: his inconsistent sophomore season and two: his lack of drive, lack of presence, lack of *whatever*. Guess who they said the exact same things about when he entered the draft? Lamarcus Aldridge. In fact if you go to draftexpress and read Jones' profile and then go back and read Aldridge's you'll find a lot of the same positives and negatives. In my humble opinion I think Jones will grow to be a 3/4 where Lamarcus is a 4/5. Like Lamarcus no one questions this kid's skills, athleticism or body. It's all in his drive, determination and will to succeed. And like Larmarcus, he's from the Dallas/Fort Worth area which could be great for his and Lamarcus' chemistry.

Olshey: take Perry Jones III in this draft, start him, feature him on offensive and watch him bring the RotY back to Portland.

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