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Oklahoma City Thunder: Where does Perry Jones III fit in next season?

The Oklahoman’s staff writers discuss three topics surrounding Perry Jones III.
by Berry Tramel and Darnell Mayberry and Anthony Slater Published: June 13, 2014

Slater: In Oklahoma City, whenever he gets on the court, his future is as a 3 and D guy. Stand in the corners, knock down the open look when they sag off and then guard a variety of positions. It’s a valuable skill set for Scott Brooks to have in his toolbox. But it’s gotta be a little tough for Jones. He’d likely develop a lot quicker on a rebuilding team, where he’d have the freedom to play 30 minutes a night and explore that athleticism. In OKC, behind Kevin Durant, that’ll never happen.

Tramel: I think he’ll be better, marginally, and probably will contribute even more than he did this season. But I still see him as the 10th or 11th man. He looks like a rotational player in Orlando or Charlotte to me.

Name the one area that Jones needs to improve most next season?

Mayberry: Confidence. I’m not sure if Jones even realizes that he belongs. Not just in the NBA but on the floor. I have no doubt that he wants minutes. Who doesn’t? But when he gets his chances it seems as if Jones thinks he must take a backseat. While that’s true to an extent for everyone not named Durant or Westbrook, Jones takes it so far that he doesn’t seem sure of himself when competing. Like he’s second-guessing everything he’s doing. Cut that out and let his natural gifts take over and Jones can be a real threat.

Slater: That lack of a motor is the big issue. He always looks a bit shy and timid out there, like he’s embarrassed with how it might look if he went all out. Many guys never overcome that. It’s a personality trait. But over time, with maturity and experience, some do. He’s only 22 and has all the physical tools. His improvement must be mental.

Tramel: I guess defense. I mean, the energy isn’t going to change, so might as well make it technical. Scotty Brooks keeps saying Jones is a versatile defender. I guess that means he’s mediocre at a variety of spots.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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