The 2016 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday June 23rd with the Houston Rockets selecting 37th and 43rd. While the Rockets are without a first round pick given GM Daryl Morey’s tendency to orchestrate trades it would be unwise to count him out of making a deal to move up. With that Space City Scoop is featuring a Draft Prospect Series covering 60 of the top ranked prospects. Next up is Damian Jones
- Height: 7’0″
- Weight: 24
- Country: America, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Position: Center
- Age: 20.9
- Reach: 8’11”
- Wingspan: 7’3.75″
- College or Pro League: Vanderbilt, junior
- Stat line: 33 Games, 13.9 Points Per Game, 6.9 Rebounds Per Game, 1.2 Assists Per Game
Please note, the rankings below come from the most up to date versions as the time of writing. That said not all the mock drafts provide second round ranks or updates often only extend to the end of the first round.
Therefore, if you check a ranking and note the number has changed it’s likely due to updates and a shift in the rankings.
ESPN Chad Ford: 30
Draft Express: 28
Bleacher Report: 34
CBS Sports– Sam Vecenie: 21
Yet another big in the draft who has good size and strong moves in the paint. His sheer size makes him a handful for defenders to stop.
He boasted decent numbers in the paint, but after a strong sophomore season his slight improvements (and in some cases like free throws regressed) speaks to the fact bigs end to take longer to develop.
Draft Express offered some great insight on the big man:
"Standing 6’11.5 in shoes with a tremendous 7’3.75 wingspan and a 244-pound frame that carries just 6.6% body fat, it isn’t hard to figure out what makes Jones an intriguing NBA prospect on first glance. He may not be an or -level freak of nature, but has everything scouts look for in a center prospect physically, and a frame that still has room to grow. On top of his sheer size, Jones is also a good athlete for his size with a good mobility and explosiveness, even if he doesn’t appear to be the most fluid strider running up and down the floor. Andre Drummond DeAndre Jordan"
One word: consistency. The major issue with Jones was at times he showcased a game which looked like he could be a major contributor at the pro level and then next game out would disappear in a lack luster performance.
He also suffers from consistency outside the paint.
Like many of the big man centers in the NBA, Jones has issues connecting from the line.
Perhaps most alarmingly he seemed to regress in his third season at Vanderbilt after a promising sophomore campaign. Couple that with the big guy’s questionable motor and it offers plenty of questions on his ceiling.
Honors and Awards:
As per Wikipedia:
2× First-team All-SEC (2015, 2016)
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Big guys take a while to develop and Jones comes from the same program that sent Festus Ezeli to the NBA. That said there are a lot of concerns regarding his limited offensive versatility, poor free throw shooting and motor.
Those aren’t exactly the types of qualities that scream out for a team looking to get back into title contention. With Capela likely taking over the majority of the center minutes it’s more likely the Rockets look at adding a versatile vet who can offset Capela’s shortcomings.
For that reason it’s unlikely the Houston Rockets will want to trade up to select Jones (or select him should they fall to them in the second round).
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