After much deliberation in yesterday’s mock draft, SJ and I settled on USF’s Dominique Jones for the Blazers at No. 22. Today, ESPN’s David Thorpe wrote about (Insider Only) some players projected to go in the late-first round and beyond as potential steals and sleepers, writing at length about Jones, whom he compared to New Orleans’ Marcus Thornton:
On the court, however, Jones is easily pegged. He has a chance to produce in a fashion that is most similar to Thornton, even though they have different strengths. Thornton is a volume shooter with range and accuracy, while Jones has a lot to prove on how consistently he can make jumpers, particularly 3-pointers. But if we focus on scoring rather than shooting, we start to see the similarities. Both guys play with a confidence that resembles arrogance, a required trait for combo guards in the NBA. Thornton gets buckets with efficiency because he can make treys, while Jones can get buckets as a driver while gaining in efficiency because he can get to the line. Think Thornton’s mindset with a strong mix of Kyle Lowry.
Thornton arguably may be more of a “chucker” than Jones, but both guys make excellent basketball plays — easy passes, extra passes, smart spot-ups, crafty post digs, etc. That means coaches can pair Jones with better players on the floor and not worry that Jones will stunt the offensive flow.
Thorpe also comments on Jones’ “willingness to fight” on defense. All told, this isn’t the last you’ll be hearing from us about Jones, as he’ll be popping up more and more on the radar soon enough.
For those interested, Washington’s Quincy Pondexter is also highlighted in the article, compared to both Rasual Butler and Stephen Jackson.