NOTE: I’m hearing Tyler Zeller looked pretty good Monday. He showed he was more than the interior defender/post player. He can step outside the key and shoot it. He’s a smart player with some real skills to go with his 7-foot, 247-pound frame. Apparently, he kinda gave Vanderbilt defensive specialist Festus Ezeli the business.
No. 7 is probably too high for Zeller, and he likely won’t last until No. 30. But if the Warriors are unhappy with their options at No. 7, they could move down and Zeller would be in play.
When all was said and done Monday, neither Baylor’s Perry Jones nor Kentucky’s Terrence Jones wowed Warriors management, according to sources. They’re good players with top-level talent, sure. And both played well. But they didn’t do enough to make the Warriors fall in love, which is probably what had to happen for either of them to be the No. 7 overall pick.
Both players still have one major question hanging over their heads: can they play small forward at the NBA level? Neither answered that question, at least not definitively, with their performance in Monday’s workout, which means No. 7 may be too high for either.
The Warriors are hoping to use their lottery pick to upgrade the small forward position, their biggest need in the starting lineup. (They can then use their three other picks plus the mid-level exception to address the frontcourt depth they need.) But both Joneses are missing some of the elements of their game the Warriors are looking for in a small forward.
Both players, however, said they could play either position at the NBA level. While many consider their ‘tweener status a knock, they called it a bonus to their game.
Multiple sources said both fit best at power forward. Their size certainly fit that mold.
Perry Jones measured at 6-foot-11, 234 pounds and was clearly no longer the wiry athlete who once stood out at Baylor. Terrence Jones — 6-foot-9, 250 pounds — looked ready to bang in the NBA while still boasting some perimeter fluidity.
But Golden State is already set at power forward with David Lee. Warriors general manager Bob Myers has said he would hope to get a starter with the No. 7 pick. With several power forward options available later in the draft, Golden State doesn’t have to draft one of the Joneses at No. 7 – unless they are convinced one of them will be a formidable power forward worth waiting to develop.
One team source said Perry Jones is in the race, but he’s not a front runner. Another Warriors source rated the Baylor sophomore above Terrence Jones, though the Warriors’ camp likes the Kentucky star. But both are at risk of being trumped by future prospects. Ohio State power forward Jared Sullinger is scheduled to come in. Golden State is still hoping to workout North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, who is projected to be a better SF at the NBA level.
Even if Golden State wants one of the Joneses, the smarter move may be to trade down and get them and pick up additional resources in the process. Both players could drop since, despite being noted talents, because more defined players are climbing up the draft board. PFs such as Sullinger, North Carolina’s John Henson and Mississippi State’s Arnett Moultrie are more truer power forwards though they don’t have the Joneses upside.