2023 NBA Draft: 5 Instant impact sleepers Blazers should target

Kobe Brown, Missouri Tigers, Credit: Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports
Kobe Brown, Missouri Tigers, Credit: Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports /
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Colby Jones, Xavier Musketeers
Colby Jones, Xavier Musketeers, Syndication: The Enquirer /

Blazers NBA draft sleeper No. 4: Colby Jones, Xavier, Guard

Xavier’s Colby Jones had an impressive junior season, averaging 15.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.3 steals per game on 51/38/66 shooting splits.

Jones is a well-balanced Swiss Army knife combo guard and a promising potential addition to the Blazers’ roster. He possesses a unique and versatile skill set that fits Portland’s needs, including playmaking, defense, rebounding, and positional size.

He is an excellent playmaker and decision-maker, excelling in pick-and-roll situations. Jones has also significantly improved his shooting, recording a 42.5 percent success rate on catch-and-shoot threes last season. However, he struggles with individual scoring, with only a 27.1 percent success rate on pull-up jumpers.

Nonetheless, Jones can contribute immediately and excels at aspects outside of scoring that make a winning team.

Jones is an exceptional defender with athleticism and length. He stands at 6-foot-5, allowing him to guard positions one through three, if needed. Jones has drawn comparisons to energetic, two-way role players like Derrick White, Josh Hart, Andrew Nembhard, and Donte DiVincenzo. He can fill in the missing void left by Hart’s defense, rebounding, and energy after he was traded to the Knicks at last season’s trade deadline.

Moreover, Jones can provide the Blazers more flexibility in making trades and constructing lineups for head coach Chauncey Billups. He can also fill in the weaknesses of the Lillard-Anfernee Simons pairing with his size and defense. Jones will also have a significant role to play with increased minutes and opportunity if one of them is traded.