Monday, June 18th, 2012 at 12:05 pm  |  16 responses

Perry Jones, No. 13 (Mock Draft)

The Phoenix Suns select the most talented player remaining on the board.

by Rodger Bohn / @rodgerbohn

The 2011-12 Phoenix Suns were one of the teams that those on the east coast didn’t quite understand how good they were unless they were staying up until the wee hours of the night catching games on League Pass. Finishing with an even 33-33 record and just three games out of the Playoffs, coach Alvin Gentry saved his job with the excellent work that he was able to do with pieces left over from the D’Antoni regime. Now it’s time to bring his own guys in.

Steve Nash and Grant Hill are unrestricted free agents. Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, and Shannon Brown all come off of the books as well. This leaves the Suns with essentially no backcourt and around $30 million to spend this off-season, though owner Robert Sarver has publicly said that they may consider hanging on to some of that cap flexibility for the future. While Nash has openly expressed his love for Phoenix and desire to return, many have questioned whether he wants to chase that ring for a year with a contender or possibly head back North of the border to end his career with the Raptors.

While the frontcourt has bodies, they only guy who seems like the long term answer is 7-foot Polish center Marcin Gortat. Coming off of a career year with averages of 15 and 10, Gortat is looking like he could wind up developing into an all-star caliber center in the west. The power forward position has no definite solution as Channing Frye and Markieff Morris both had major ups and downs throughout the previous season.

So after looking over the entire roster and deciding what was best for the franchise long term, the pick is in.

With the 13th pick of the SLAMonline Mock Draft, the Phoenix Suns select…

Perry Jones from Baylor.

Scoring guards Austin Rivers and Dion Waiters also got strong looks here, but Jones simply had too much talent and potential to pass up. There was definitely a glaring need in the backcourt and while tough to ignore, the Suns had to swing for the fences, and this 6-11 sophomore was the guy.

Capable of playing both the small forward and power forward positions, the Dallas native gives Phoenix the flexibility to move him all over the court. If you want to use him as a pick-and-pop big (where I think he fits best), he’s definitely going to be an upgrade from last year’s lottery pick, Markieff Morris. Some feel that he has Paul George potential on the perimeter but while the physical attributes are present, there’s definite room for refinement before he’s going to be playing swingman full-time.

Now of course, there were concerns. Anyone who has seen Perry play know that he has just as much potential, if not more, than anyone not named Anthony Davis in this year’s Draft—yet he rarely put it all together in Waco. The inconsistencies the former McDonald’s All-American displayed drew him heavy criticism from both the fans and media alike. There were flashes, though. The 31-point explosion late in the year versus Kansas State and the 28-point domination he put on tough non-conference foe BYU gave everyone a peek of how unique a talent he was. Then the two games in NCAA tourney when he finished with 9 points combined left you scratching your head as to what you were going to get.

Ultimately, Phoenix Suns GM Lance Blanks and head coach Alvin Gentry should decide that the chance to obtain the next star to don the orange and purple makes more sense than to go with a safer bet, so we can all be sit back and play the waiting game on Mr. Jones in PHX.

2012 SLAMonline Mock Draft
Pick Team Player Pick Team Player
1 Hornets Anthony Davis 16 Rockets
2 Bobcats Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 17 Mavs
3 Wizards Brad Beal 18 TWolves
4 Cavs Thomas Robinson 19 Magic
5 Kings Jared Sullinger 20 Nuggets
6 Blazers Andre Drummond 21 Celtics
7 Warriors Harrison Barnes 22 Celtics
8 Raptors Damian Lillard 23 Hawks
9 Pistons John Henson 24 Cavs
10 Hornets Jeremy Lamb 25 Grizzlies
11 Blazers Kendall Marshall 26 Pacers
12 Bucks Meyers Leonard 27 Heat
13 Suns Perry Jones III 28 Thunder
14 Rockets 29 Bulls
15 Sixers 30 Warriors
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  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    I think this is a great pick for Phoenix, but sadly, in the real draft, we all know they’re taking Waiters.

  • MirChilly

    If they keep Nash, then Jones in that system could very well end up being the rookie of the year. The ability he has is special and nash as a leader is very underrated. He turned Frye, Jared Dudley and Gortat into valuable nba players. Let’s not forget amare, q-rich, diaw, barbosa and raja bell. Perry Jones talent is there obviously. If he goes to any other teamn he could be out of the league in 4yrs, with nash, potential all-star. But they will take Dion and be stuck in nba purgatory.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    if he gets his mind right and gets some good mentoring/coaching we could see what tim thomas was supposed to be like. if he keeps on being timid and not aserting himself we might have an earl clark re-run

  • Saku 39

    I watched a handful of Baylor games the last two years and too often he was invisible. Hope he can put it together in the pros – I’ll be rooting for him (apparently he was homeless his senior year in HS).

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rwDluFZQmtQ Max

    I believe in this guy and I think alot of teams will regret passing him up.

  • cnn_fanatic

    This is the most interesting projection that I’ve seen regarding the Suns. Every mock draft have them picking of a PG/SG (maybe they’re assuming Nash won’t be back). I could see Perry Jones teaming up with Nash. Perry Jones even said himself (once he started preparing for the combine) that he didn’t think he was utilized right at Baylor and now he feels more confident and comfortable, and that’s exactly what you want to hear from a player of his athleticism. I think this guy has been severely underrated as a player recently. I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people.

  • Boss Bailey

    I like Dion Waiters alot. I think that he’ll have a nice career in L, not necessarily an All-Star type but a solid career. However, I don’t see how he was promised a late-lottery selection. To be honest I’m not sure why anyone would promise anything past the 1st overall pick. You never know who could slip or what trade becomes available. I had Waiters going mid to late first round as the potential “steal” of the draft, now he has more bust potential

  • http://www.dimemag.com Showtime

    Yea i dont see pj3 slipping out of the lottery. But I def like this system for him in phx if he pick up there. I always said kid is a mash up of rudy gay and josh smith. if doesn’t pan out he’s tim thomas/ anthony randolf.But the kid has it all, touch size athletism running a 3:18 on 3/4 and vertical damn 40 inch vert,great handle to be damn near 7′ feet and nice shooting motion. just lack the confidence..but he may very well be one of those pick of getting gm’s fired but also steal in draft because he will come with that determination 4 getting slept on

  • Rainman

    Austin rivers would be the best pick here for phoenix. Wgerther nash returns or not. They need another player able to create offense for themselves, and not rely on nash for everything anymore, dude is 39.that guy is rivers imo, he can find good looks for himself, and is fearless.

  • Max

    No way. We don’t need another big man who may be the biggest bust out of this draft. Him, Drummond and Lamb are guys I would stay away from. They don’t play hard and Lamb and Jones are so soft. He’ll never be Paul George. Imagine putting Perry Jones on Dwayne Wade, he’d get eaten alive. Jones is way too risky. Waiters is easily the best fit. He’s TOUGH(not heard often in PHX), can stroke and is athletic. I’d be happy with Waiters or Rivers, if we somehow get another pick in this draft we should then look into a big man, but even then I would like for us to go after Ross from Washington after we get our sg at #13.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    I can’t believe this guy is still supported by good stock rankings when his NCAA showing was appalling. HE disappears in the crucial stage. Sure, taking him but trade him Orlando for Richardson (get him back) and a lower pick…get a decent work horse in the 2nd round to play that 2/3 position behind Dudley. Also…don’t even SPEAK to Nash until you bring in another star…..or Gerald Wallace….?

  • vincent

    The Warriors are probably gonna get him

  • Nashty

    PHX really need a scorer and franchise player to team up with NASH.

  • floe

    toronto needs to pick him up at 8. dude is gonna be a beast in a couple of years.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    They taking Dion Waiters. Already a given.

  • floe

    thats a horribe pick. an undersized sg?