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.