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Rockets Need to Look the Other Way on Terrence Jones

By Anthony Duckett
Houston Rockets Terrence Jones (Photo by Andrew Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Terrence Jones (Photo by Andrew Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Rockets are capped out but still seeking to fill roster spots. But there’s one player they are interested in that I don’t quite understand.

The Rockets are still filling out roster spots with the remaining money they have available. This is why it made sense to take flyers by signing Anthony Bennett and Ben McLemore on non-guaranteed deals. Frankly there is no risk because they can see if there is any upside and if there’s not, they can always cut bait, a la Michael Carter-Williams and Carmelo Anthony.

But the Rockets are reportedly interested in bringing back Terrence Jones. Yes the same Terrence Jones we drafted in the first round in 2012 who played his first 4 seasons in Houston. Sure I understand Jones is only 27 years old and once averaged 12.1 points and 6.9 rebounds for the Rockets, but I also know that was 5 years ago.

Aside from the one season he played in New Orleans, Jones seems to always have a hard time landing on a team besides the Rockets. The Milwaukee Bucks knew after 3 games they didn’t want his services anymore and the Pelicans didn’t have interest in bringing him back even after he averaged 11.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per night for them.

So Jones went to the G-League in 2018 where he played great, posting averages of 23.6 points/9.6 rebounds/5.7 assists while shooting 38.9% from three. Despite those numbers, Jones didn’t have any interest around the league until the Rockets came calling again this past season. Even then, the Rockets didn’t keep Jones around for long.

Jones would later go on to play in the Phillipines Basketball Association where he was last seen getting body-slammed by Calvin Abueva, someone 6 inches shorter than Jones. If you watch, Jones actually celebrated after knocking down Abueva, who is weirdly referred to as “The Beast”.

So now, we are seeing a similar thing happen yet again. We have yet to hear any team interested in bringing Jones back besides the Rockets and it’s hard to understand why they want his services. Jones is a 29.7% career three point shooter and is a career 10.4 point scorer. But furthermore, we’ve seen this experiment before and there’s a reason we let him walk after seeing him play for 4 years. There’s also a reason why no other team wants Jones.

So why go back and re-visit that experiment? Sure I understand the Rockets are strapped for cash and they can get Jones on a non-guaranteed deal like Bennett and McLemore, but I would think there would surely be better options for the Rockets even on a non-guaranteed deal.

And on top of that, Jones was a Kevin McHale guy, not a Mike D’Antoni guy. The 4 years Jones played in Houston were all seasons in which Mike D’Antoni was not the head coach. It’s easy to understand why D’Antoni wouldn’t want Jones, because Jones doesn’t fit D’Antoni’s style of play. He can’t shoot from deep and doesn’t necessarily crash the glass either.

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I would love to be proven wrong about Jones in the event that he is brought in to Houston, but to me it seems like going back to an ex. There’s a reason you broke up in the first place, so why get back together.

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