His performance thus far should help him preserve a high level of play when he rejoins Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.
“Definitely,” Jones said. “This also gives them a chance to have confidence in me. If they send me the ball and I do something, they’ll know it’s not out of the ordinary. They’ve seen me do it before, and if they’re comfortable with it then it’s going to be a lot easier for everybody.”
Thunder coach Scott Brooks and the team’s front office has shown confidence in Jones. His size and length, as well as his athleticism, makes Jones a perfect fit as the Thunder’s preferred type of player. Brooks added Jones as a 10th member of the rotation last season and labeled him the team’s utility defender.
But on such a talented team, Jones still isn’t sure where he fits.
“I can’t say right now,” Jones said. “All I can do is go out there and play my game, and hopefully everybody will fit in with me.”
Jones hasn’t just been described as a utility defender. He’s also been called a capable 3-point shooter and the most athletic player in the league by teammates. But those descriptions only mean no one truly knows who Jones really is as a player and what his role will be. Versatility has a funny way of being a gift and a curse.
Two games in Orlando, though, showed that Jones is eager to find his place. Despite being one of the more experienced players on the Thunder’s roster, he’s taking summer league serious. And it’s showing in his play.
“I’m just trying to get myself better for what’s to come and not just go out there and get up a lot of shots because it’s summer ball,” Jones said. “I want to get better chemistry-wise with Steven (Adams), Andre (Roberson), Jeremy (Lamb), all the young guys and just be a better player all around.”