But Ibaka is eligible for a contract extension this summer, and if the Thunder can't retain him, the franchise now has Jones waiting in line.
“There's not a lot of difference,” said Fraschilla. “If Oklahoma City can't sign Serge Ibaka, they may have found a nice replacement for him in a young Perry Jones. I think this is a great place for him to go.”
Of course, it didn't matter to Jones where he landed. He was all smiles as he took the stage to shake NBA commissioner David Stern's hand and make his dream come true.
“I'm speechless,” Jones said. “My dream is to play in the NBA. It don't matter what number I got picked. I just wanted the opportunity to play.”
When it was time for the Thunder to select, plenty of highly rated talent remained available.
After Miami selected Mississippi State forward Arnett Moultrie with the 27th overall pick, the Thunder had its choice of Baylor forward Quincy Miller, Michigan State forward Draymond Green, Kentucky guards Marquis Teague and Doron Lamb, Vanderbilt forward Jeff Taylor and center Festus Ezeli, Memphis guard Will Barton and Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor.
In the end, after rampant rumors surrounded Oklahoma City in the 24 hours preceding the draft, the Thunder again delivered a curveball.
This one ended up being a promising big man.Darnell Mayberry blog: The book on Perry Jones