2013-2014 Player Grades: Perry Jones III still looking for his opportunity

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Not much was expected and not much was given from the second year forward for the Thunder.

Full Name: Perry Jones III

Nickname: PJ3

Years in NBA: 2012-2014

Contract Status: 2014 Club Option exercised for $1,129,200 with a club option for 2015

Notable Factoid: He has a 7" 1.75' wing span

Player History:

PJ3 played his high school ball in Duncanville, Texas then took his talents to Waco and played for Scott Drew at Baylor. He shocked most people when he decided to come back to Baylor for his sophomore season after many projections had him as a top 10 pick in the 2011 draft. In two years at Baylor Jones averaged 13.7 pts, 7.4 rbs, 1.2 ast, and shot 52% from the field.

The biggest knock against PJ3 in college was his lack of aggressiveness. He was labeled as soft and a player who disappeared in games. That hurt his draft stock in 2012, but more concerning to drafting teams was the report that surfaced on draft night that he had a knee injury. The Thunder snatched Jones with the 28th pick in that year's draft. He has spent much of his first two seasons in the NBA bouncing between the Thunder's bench and their D-League team, the Tulsa 66ers.

Pre-season Expectations:

Um....for me personally I had very low expectations for Jones before the season. My reasoning for this is completely based on how the Thunder have handled their young "project" players in the past. They use their D-League as a true minor league system for their young players to learn and play and develop and I knew that was going to be the case for PJ3. The chances of him getting regular minutes and cracking the rotation were slim and none.

Regular Season Grade/Explanation:

Grade_cplus_medium

My reasoning for this grade comes from the stuff that is not seen in the stat sheet. There were moments this season where I was really impressed with how Scott Brooks used the regular season games to work Jones into the line up. Jones only started 7 games this season but there were moments where Brooks started Jones in the second half of a game and would play him at a position other than power forward. Like I said, the numbers PJ3 put up this season are not anything close to special let alone decent. He still is a project that still needs time to find his way.

Post Season Grade/Explanation:

Grade_d_medium

I did not expect Jones to have some grand impact on any game this post season, but I did expect/hope there would be at least one moment in a game where he would hit a corner three off a Russell Westbrook kick out or have a put back dunk to excite the crowd. That never happened.

Most Memorable Game/Moment:

Western Conference Finals Game 2 at San Antonio Spurs

I know what you are thinking..."Are you really talking about the game where the Thunder got blown out?" Yes I am. The reason for that is because there was a time in that game where Brooks was playing Jones in the second half and on a Tony Parker drive and PJ3 flew in and blocked his shot and showed that glimpse of the ultra athletic ability that could be the key to the Thunder keeping their window to win a title open that much longer.

Future Expectations:

Count me as one of the peoeple who has pretty high expectations for Jones moving forward, and I am hoping it happens sooner rather than later. My friend Matt Moore over at CBS Sports.com thinks PJ3 is still needs a few years before he can be a difference maker for the Thunder. I tend to want that timetable to be closer to this season. If the Thunder want to win a NBA Title they need contributions from the bench like the Spurs got in the NBA Finals. The Thunder can't continue to be as reliant on the starters and get nothing from their bnech players. For that to happen players like Perry Jones to quit being a project and start being a consistent weapon for them off the bench.

***

Player Grades Explained:

A: Far exceeded expectations

B: Exceeded expectations

C: Met expectations

D: Did not meet expectations

F: Fell far short of expectations

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