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Ex-Texas Longhorn J'Covan Brown has found his NBA home with the Miami Heat
After three years at Texas, J'Covan Brown declared for the 2012 NBA Draft despite not receiving much interest for most NBA teams. Now, after going undrafted, Brown will have an uphill climb to make an NBA roster and may end up playing overseas.
Brown is an excellent shooter and a crafty ball-handler at 6'2 200, but his lack of lateral quickness will make it difficult for him to contribute defensively at the next level.
If he's going to make a team, it will have to be as a shooting specialist off the bench, so his agent will need to be very careful in picking which summer-league team he plays for. For fringe guards like Brown, opportunity is as important as talent to avoid playing overseas.
That being said, there's no shame in being a high-level professional basketball player in Europe and Brown's skill level should allow him to make a comfortable living within the sport.
For more coverage on Texas and the NBA draft, stay tuned to the SB Nation Dallas storystream.
If Quincy Miller had stayed in school another year, he was widely projected as a lottery pick. But, after an inconsistent freshman season where he was recovering from a high school knee injury, his draft stock has plummeted to where he was taken by the Denver Nuggets with the No. 38 selection of the 2012 NBA Draft.
Miller, at 6'10 220 with a 7'1 wingspan, has one of the most intriguing combinations of size, skill and athleticism in the draft, and he if continues to regain explosiveness in his knee, he could end up being a huge steal for the Nuggets.
In Denver, Miller could thrive in George Karl's uptempo system next to a PG like Ty Lawson, but he may need a year to get a chance to contribute, as Karl is notoriously loathe to play rookies.
Having three players selected in the NBA Draft is a great accomplishment for Baylor's program, but they may have planted the seeds of their own destruction in the process.
Former Baylor forward Quincy Acy was selected by the Toronto Raptors in the second round with the No. 37 overall pick.
The 6-foot-8, 224-pound Acy averaged 12 points and 7.4 rebounds for Baylor last season. It was uncertain if Acy was going to be selected, but he ended up being the second Baylor taken at the time of his pick.
The athletic forward will be able to help the Raptors in the rebounding category, especially on the offensive end. He can certainly finish at the rim, as 40 percent of his field goals were dunks. However, he'll need to bulk up if he wants to be a power forward, as a lack of perimeter skills don't make him a good fit at small forward.
After a tumultuous two months that has seen his draft stock slowly slip from the lottery to the middle of the first round, Baylor sophomore Perry Jones was selected No. 28 overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Jones, an athletic 6'11 235 forward with a 7'2 wingspan, is one of the most talented prospects in the draft, but concerns about his toughness as well as issues with his knee sent him falling down draft boards in the last few weeks.
Every year, there's at least one prospect who begins sliding, and once a slide begins, a herd mentality can erupt. Teams who didn't think they would have a chance at a player everyone thought would be a Top 15 pick get cold feet about a player who they never evaluated and a free-fall begins.
In 2012, the late dropped could be Baylor star Perry Jones III. With concerns about his knee popping up at the last minute, Jones slips all the way to the Cleveland Cavaliers at No. 24 in ESPN Insider Chad Ford's final mock draft:
Analysis: Jones might be the toughest player in the draft to project right now. Everyone is both scared to take him and scared not to take him. (I've heard the same assessment from a number of NBA GMs the past few weeks.) His knee issues aren't helping things.
Whichever GM first overcomes his fear gets a super-athletic, 6-foot-11 forward who lacks the motor or toughness teams usually look for in a big man. But at some point, the reward outweighs the risk, and that calculation probably starts here.
Two weeks ago, the same things were said about Jones risk/reward ratio, except at the No. 12 pick instead of the No. 24. NBA players have always made a point of "proving the doubters wrong", and if anything is certain, it's that Jones has no shortage of doubters to inspire him.
Baylor's Perry Jones has began to slide down most draft boards, and ESPN's Chad Ford is reporting that the reason is because of a knee injury:
Sources: Perry Jones knee issue may be the cause of draft night slide espn.go.com/nba/draft2012/…— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 28, 2012
Specifically, Ford reports that a meniscus issue in the left knee of the Baylor guard has several clubs concerned about Jones' long-term durability. While the issue isn't considered career threatening, Ford reports that enough clubs are concerned to push Jones to the bottom of the first round:
While opinions vary among NBA doctors on the ramifications of the issue, some teams feel that the knee could be an issue down the road and at some point in the future require surgery. Not all teams have the same degree of alarm, but the concerns have caused Jones' stock to slide from the mid-to-late lottery portion of the draft down into the late teens and early 20s of the round.
Over at SB Nation's NBA page, Tom Ziller still has Jones in the Top 10, going to the Golden State Warriors seventh overall.
For more on the 2012 NBA Draft, check out SB Nation's NBA page.
Whispers about his intensity and toughness have caused Baylor sophomore Perry Jones, a top of the lottery talent, to slip all the way to the middle of the first round in most mock drafts.
Over at RealGM, I take a deeper look into these criticisms and why a closer look at the situation Jones played in at Baylor reveals why such character attacks are unfounded:
But, unlike Anthony Davis, Jones didn’t walk into a situation where he would be playing with five unselfish future NBA players. In his two seasons for the Bears, the starting guards were AJ Walton (a defensive specialist), LaceDarius Dunn (a guard who lacked Kobe Bryant’s talent but not his willingness to shoot), Pierre Jackson (a score-first junior college transfer) and Brady Heislip (a shooting specialist). So while Davis got the majority of his points on alley-oops, dive cuts and fastbreaks, Jones didn’t have anyone creating easy baskets for him.
The real question is how they would be perceived if they had switched teams. How would Jones have looked playing for Bill Self, an excellent strategist and tactician who adjusts his schemes to fit the talents of his best players? Meanwhile, how would Robinson have looked in the middle of a 1-3-1 zone while playing with guards either unable or unwilling to give him the ball?
I’ve never met Perry Jones, but I’ve watched him play a lot of basketball. And when there are tactical and strategic reasons for why a player isn’t maximizing his potential, I’m going to look at those before I start questioning his ability to succeed at a children’s game because of who he is as a human being.
Armchair psychologists criticizing the character of teenagers they have never met has become endemic in basketball, but that doesn't mean it has any real value.
Quincy Miller is one of the biggest wildcards in the draft, as there's still no consensus among the mock drafts as to where the Baylor freshman will end up.
In Jonathan Givony's latest mock draft for Yahoo! Sports, the DraftExpress founder has the Boston Celtics pulling the trigger on Miller at No. 21:
Quincy Miller: SF, 19, 6-10, 219, Baylor, Fresh.
The Celtics are ushering in a new era, with a big chunk of their roster entering free agency and considerable cap room opening up. Celtics president Danny Ainge has never had a problem swinging for the fences for a talented prospect with significant long-term upside. Miller fits that description.
Ainge has a proven eye for talent and he's not afraid to buck the draft consensus if he likes a player. In the 2010 draft, he took Texas SG Avery Bradley after an inconsistent freshman season much like the one Miller had for the Bears, and Bradley has become a long-term starter and building block despite his inability to dominate at the college level.
Boston, one of the most well-run organizations in the NBA, would be an excellent landing spot for Miller, where he could learn from an All-NBA SF in Paul Pierce.
It's been widely rumored that the Celtics have made a promise to Iowa State PF Royce White with one of their first-round picks, and a front-court duo of Miller and White, while unorthodox, would be deadly.
While Perry Jones III's stock has been slipping in the past few weeks, from a consensus top-5 pick before the season began to possibly all the way down to the Orlando Magic at No. 19, senior director of NBA scouting operations Ryan Blake doesn't think the Dallas Mavericks will have the chance to take the Duncanville native.
In a conversation with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Blake emphasized the unique things Jones can give a team at 6'11 235:
"You can't find someone like him in this draft," Blake said of Jones. "You've got someone who's 6-11 and can spread the floor.
"His versatility really is his main weapon. He has that elite professional athleticism in terms of foot speed, leaping ability, can score from all spots on the floor, ability to be a great rebounder, and he should be a better shot blocker and I think he will be."
While Jones production didn't take the leap in his sophomore season at Baylor, a lot of that had to do with the quality of the team around him. He had to create most of his own offense, as the Bears guards couldn't get a 6'11 235 forward with a 35'+ max vertical easy baskets!
In contrast, likely No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis lived off dump-offs and alley-oops from Kentucky's perimeter players, as he was given very little offensive responsibility by the Wildcats coaching staff.
The gap in talent between the two players isn't all that great, and if they had switched college programs, I have a feeling they would be viewed very differently.
With Quincy Miller's draft stock falling, the Baylor freshman no longer has much of a floor for where he could be selected in the 2012 NBA Draft. One team he has been linked too is the Golden State Warriors, who have a second first-round pick at No. 30 overall, which could put them in a position to roll the dice on a boom/bust prospect like Miller.
That could make Miller's workout with Golden State on Saturday one of the most important days in his young basketball career:
Warriors announce that, among others, Illinois' Meyers Leonard and Baylor's Quincy Miller are in a group workout tomorrow.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) June 22, 2012
While teams tend to dismiss the importance of pre-draft workouts, it's a far more recent bit of data than college basketball games that have happened 3-6 months ago, and one dominant performance in person can overcome shaky game tape.
Miller, with his combination of size, athleticism and shooting ability at 6'10 220, certainly passes the eye test. But the most important test for him could come with Golden State's team doctors, as he needs to prove that he's recovered from an ACL injury he suffered during his senior season of high school that clearly affected him at Baylor.
With Perry Jones' draft stock slipping, his representatives may be moving from trying to maximize his draft slot to finding the best fit for his talents in the middle of the first round.
Jones would be an ideal fit next to a top young PG, which is why the Philadelphia 76ers, with Jrue Holiday, would be an intriguing landing spot for the Baylor sophomore. And in the latest mock draft from Jonathan Givony of Draft Express and Yahoo! Sports, he has Philadelphia grabbing Jones at No. 15:
Perry Jones: PF, 20, 6-11, 220, Baylor, Soph.
The Sixers are in a position to pick the best player that drops to them at 15, and Perry Jones is one of the most talented prospects in this draft. He can play alongside any of the frontcourt players the 76ers have at the moment, and would benefit greatly from the tough love of head coach Doug Collins.
Philadelphia desperately needs the type of size, athleticism and playmaking ability Jones could provide at the power forward position. In the second round of the playoffs, the 76ers never had a defensive answer for Kevin Garnett, as Elton Brand has been a massive disappointment since coming over in free agency.
Jones, who can spread the floor and defend all three front-court positions, would work well with Thaddeus Young upfront and give the 76ers a whole new dimension. At the same time, Philadelphia has enough offensive talent so they wouldn't demand Jones shoot the ball 15x a game, which is not his strength as a player.
Over at SB Nation, I have a listing of the top 10 PG's available in the 2012 NBA Draft, and, as much as it pains me as a Texas alum, J'Covan Brown did not make the list.
Brown matured in front of our eyes in Austin, going from a academic washout whose attitude almost got him kicked off the team as a freshman to the respected veteran leader of an overachieving young squad as a junior.
He's a creative ball-handler with a good feel for the game and an excellent outside shot, but he fell outside the top 10 for two reasons: he's not a pure point guard and he's not a good athlete at 6'2 200.
His lack of foot-speed means he'll be a defensive liability at the next level, and he hasn't proven he's a good enough play-maker to play solely as a point guard (and not as a combo scoring guard) in the NBA.
That's what makes his decision to declare for the draft as a junior so disappointing: his assist to turnover ratio improved every year in Austin, culminating in 3.8 assists to 2.7 turnovers last year. If he had come back as a senior and moved that number closer to 2 than 1.5 while improving his shooting efficiency numbers, he would have a much better chance of being drafted.
As it is, he's probably going to be an undrafted free agent who won't be given much of a shot to make a roster as a rookie, which means a long stint in the D-League is probably in his future. However, he could carve out a nice living playing overseas, so he'll have an interesting decision to make this summer.
An interview w/Brown during the NBA Draft Combine:
For more coverage of Brown and the rest of the local players in the 2012 NBA Draft, stay tuned to the SB Nation Dallas StoryStream.
While Anthony Davis and Thomas Robinson have moved to the very top of the power forward crop in the 2012 NBA Draft, Baylor sophomore Perry Jones III is still trying to establish himself among a very talented group at the position.
His draft stock has been slipping in recent weeks, but he'll have a golden chance to stem his slide next Monday:
Awesome workout in Detroit next Monday for No. 9 pick: Sullinger, Zeller, Leonard, Henson, T. Jones, P. Jones— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 18, 2012
Terrence Jones, John Henson and Jared Sullinger are three of Jones' main competitors to be a lottery selection as a swing forward. All three had better statistics than PJ3, but none have his combination of size and athleticism at 6'11 235.
Sullinger, in particular, could well be sliding due to reports about his back troubles. He'll have no chance of defending any of the five other players at the Detroit workout, while Jones can match-up with all five.
The Pistons are rumored to be looking for a front-court partner for second-year big Greg Monroe. However, it's not the best fit for Jones' talents as he and Monroe are similarly unselfish 6'11+ passers who might be better suited to playing with a more dominant scorer in the front-court.
While he was once thought of as a middle of the first-round pick at the beginning of pre-draft season, Baylor freshman Quincy Miller has not been able to overcome the aftertaste of a disappointing freshman season in workouts with NBA teams and is sliding fast in the most recent mock drafts.
The Warriors wouldn't be relying on Miller to fill their need for a starting small forward, but he has enough talent to make you wonder if he could eventually play that role. Miller, whose torn ACL during his senior season in high school set him back after he was Slam magazine's top prospect of the 2011 class in 2010, said he expects to go anywhere from the late lottery to "the 20s." But he could also fall into the second round.
There's no sugar coating it: becoming a second round pick, without any guaranteed money, would be a disastrous outcome for Miller and surely one he and his representatives didn't foresee when they declared for the draft.
It would also be a blow for Scott Drew's program, as rival coaches would surely pounce on the fact that a player once considered the top prospect in his high school class had his stock drop so precipitously after one season in Waco.
While Quincy Miller has not made any fans in the pre-draft process, there's at least one national columnist still in his corner.
At ESPN Insider, stats guru John Hollinger crunched the numbers and rates the Baylor freshman as the No. 6 prospect in the entire draft:
The other wing everybody is sleeping on is Quincy Miller of Baylor, who put up a strong mark despite coming off an ACL injury. He has more questions marks because of the knee and his bony build, but he is long and can score. The stories of him slipping have me baffled, because he rates as a top-10 pick.
One thing Hollinger may have stumbled upon is that Miller was a fairly efficient scorer as a freshman. While he averaged only 10.6 points a game, he got those while shooting 45% from the floor, 35% from the three and 82% from the free-throw line.
Miller's biggest problem wasn't anything he was doing, just that he never got the ball enough at Waco.
If the latest rumors are correct, few players have tumbled as far in recent weeks as Baylor's Perry Jones III.
Where the Milwaukee Bucks were once considered a safe landing spot for Jones at No. 12, Chad Ford's latest mock draft from ESPN Insider has the Bears forward sliding all the way to the Orlando Magic at No. 19:
Analysis: This is a long way for Jones to slip in the draft. Many believe he's a top-five talent, but no one knows what position he'll play in the pros. His situation reminds me a lot of the one Josh Smith was in a few years ago. Jones may find a home in the lottery, but if he doesn't he could slide this far. Given Jones' raw talent, he's definitely worth the risk at this point.
As even Ford notes, there's no question as to Jones' talent level. Falling almost out of the top 20 would be humbling, but it could be just the motivation the enigmatic forward needs to maximize his abilities at the next level.
Unfortunately, an Orlando team without a true PG and in limbo due to the Dwight Howard melodrama probably wouldn't be the best place for Jones to grow.
According to ESPN Insider Chad Ford, it's no longer a guarantee that Miller even goes in the first round:
Quincy Miller, F, Baylor Bears
Considering that most GMs believe Miller would be a top-10 pick in the 2013 draft, it seems odd that he could slip entirely out of the first round. But that's looking more and more like a possibility. The talent is there, but concerns about his ACL and his position continue to haunt him. The medical reports from Chicago are starting to trickle in, and it looks like they aren't putting teams' concerns to rest.
If it's an issue of medical liability, than Miller very well could slip into the second round, where contracts are no longer guaranteed. The same thing happened to Dejuan Blair in 2009, when he went from a mid first-round pick to an early second-rounder when it came out that he didn't have an ACL in either knee.
While many analysts believed that Baylor F Perry Jones III wouldn't slip past the Milwaukee Bucks at No. 12, it appears his representatives attempt to brand him as a small forward in the last few weeks have back-fired.
The Rockets' front office is as calculated as they come. It has a habit of acquiring assets -- otherwise known as players -- that might not fit perfectly now but could come in handy later. But Jones, a top-10-worthy talent who has faced questions about his intensity level and inconsistent play, is both a good fit and a good asset (should the Rockets decide to trade him) if he falls this far. Though he's being billed as a small forward by his representatives, most teams see him as a power forward. He could play behind veteran forward Luis Scola while starting the process that he promises will take place: proving his critics wrong.
However, in many ways, Houston would be an excellent landing spot for Jones, especially since he wouldn't be losing all that much money in dropping two more slots to No. 14.
The Rockets are a solid, veteran team with an excellent young PG in Kyle Lowry and are a widely respected organization when it comes to player acquisition and development. Houston could afford to bring Jones along slowly while they also desperately need his star potential.
While everyone wants to be taken as high as they possibly can go in the draft, a lot of times, the situation where you land will have a much bigger effect on your career than your draft slot.
Baylor sophomore Perry Jones III has been a polarizing figure among NBA scouts since his days at Duncanville High School.
Even with the NBA draft only weeks away, there's still no clear consensus on how to value his immense talent at 6'11 235 verse his production at Baylor.
Perry Jones III, PF, Baylor: You can't let a talent such as PJ3 slide any further. Is he tough? No. But he's long and skilled -- and the Bucks need someone up front who can provide length and scoring.
12. Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee has been a team trapped on the mediocrity treadmill, not good enough to contend in the playoffs or bad enough to get a Top 5 draft pick, ever since former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Bogut became the latest highly rated center to miss years of time with injuries.
They dealt Bogut to the Golden State Warriors for Monta Ellis and former Baylor star Ekpe Udoh at the trade deadline last year. Jones would be a great fit for the team they have now, as his lack of offensive aggression will hardly be a problem next to Ellis and Brandon Jennings while his skill level would be a marked improvement for their depleted front-line.
On one hand, he's an incredibly talented prospect: a 6'10 220 forward with a 7'1 wingspan, an excellent outside shot (35% from three) and the ball-handling ability to get it off fairly easily.
On the other, he's already had one major knee injury and averaged only 10.5 points, 5 rebounds and 1.5 assists as a freshman at Baylor.
As a result, he has fans and detractors throughout NBA front offices, which NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper outlines in a recent column:
One general manager, noting Miller's noticeable improvement on the road back from the knee injury, said, "If he has his athleticism back, he's top 10." Other front offices, though, smacked the Baylor small forward with "Should have stayed in school," and not just in the way most prospects can use seasoning, a thought seconded by the GM who said, "Some of these kids get bad advice" about coming out. One veteran executive went so far as to say "I don't think he's a first-rounder."
For now, the latest mock drafts have Miller splitting the middle of the wide-range of opinion about him and going in the middle of the first.
And five years from now, that selection will look either way too low or way too high.
While Baylor forward Quincy Miller has lottery-type potential, his decision to enter the 2012 NBA Draft after an underwhelming freshman season doesn't seem to be paying off at this point in the pre-draft process.
In his latest mock draft for ESPN Insider, Chad Ford has Miller falling all the way to the Indiana Pacers at No. 26:
By virtually every account, Miller was a top-10 pick coming into his freshman season and would've been top 10 on most draft boards in 2013. But scouts aren't very high on him right now, and I wonder how differently they would feel had his knee been 100 percent this season. This is a steal for the Pacers if he slides this low.
Miller suffered a torn ACL in December of his senior year of high school, an injury which typically takes players 12-18 months to recover from.
On a veteran Indiana team fresh off a deep run in the playoffs, he would probably not get many minutes initially, especially with two other long wings (6'8 Danny Granger and 6'9 Paul George) already on the roster.
However, as long as he stays in the first round, he will still receive millions of dollars in guaranteed money. After one devastating injury as an amateur, Miller may have a more developed grasp of his athletic mortality than many prospects his age, which would explain why he was willing to become a professional when his draft stock was an at all-time low.
The Bears two talented young forwards could end up being the two biggest steals in this draft class, as their true talent was obscured by the personnel and coaches around them in Waco.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Utah)
Quincy Miller: SF, 19, 6-9, 200, Baylor, Fresh.
After eight straight years of missing the playoffs, and with general manager David Kahn entering the final year of his contract, Minnesota will need to make some moves this summer to improve its roster and finally break its postseason drought. The Timberwolves are especially weak at the wing positions, where they could desperately use some additional scoring punch to take the heat off Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. Unless they end up reaching for an experienced perimeter shooting wing like Jeff Taylor, Darius Miller or Orlando Johnson, the T'wolves might be best off drafting the best talent available -- this case Quincy Miller -- and trying to pursue help on the wing in trades and/or free agency.
Miller, who has the talent of a lottery pick but the production of a second-rounder in his one season at Baylor, could be an ideal trade chip, especially if one team falls in love with him in the middle of the first round.
With so many raw underclassmen like Miller in the draft, it's no longer the best place to find immediate help. That's why it may make more sense for a desperate team like Minnesota, which currently has the longest active playoff drought in the NBA, to take the best available player and try to shop him around the NBA.
While Baylor forward Perry Jones III has been reportedly impressing scouts in private workouts, it hasn't seemed to affect his draft stock much, at least according to the latest mock from Draft Express.
One of the leading draft-related sites on the internet, DX has Jones going to the Milwaukee Bucks with the No. 12 overall selection.
At 6'11 235 with the athleticism and skill-level to play all three front-court positions in the NBA, Jones is as talented a forward as any of the players in the draft, including likely No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis.
With Davis and Robinson near locks to be taken in the top 5, Jones will likely be competing with Sullinger, Henson and Barnes for draft position over the next month. All three had more productive collegiate careers, but none are as talented as Jones.
Three Baylor Bears and a Longhorn have been invited to participate in the 2012 NBA Draft Combine June 7-8 in Chicago, Illinois. From Baylor, Quincy Acy, Perry Jones III and Quincy Miller will attend, while J'Covan Brown will represent Texas.
After a huge season that reached the Elite Eight, the Bears will be hit hard by the early departure of Jones (a sophomore) and Miller, a freshman who initially announced he'd return for another season. Jones, Acy and Miller were the second, third and fourth leading scorers on the team, respectively, and combine to average 36.1 points a game.
Despite only one season as a full-time starter, Brown decided to forgo his senior year and is projected as a late second rounder or an undrafted free agent. Brown led the Big 12, scoring 21 points a game, but only shot 46 percent from the floor.
In the latest mock draft from SB Nation, Tom Ziller breaks down the glass half-full perspective on some of the top prospects available in the 2012 NBA Draft.
One such player with "tremendous upside potential" is Baylor sophomore Perry Jones III, who Ziller has going No. 14 to the Houston Rockets:
14. ROCKETS: Perry Jones III, Baylor
Not only will Jones The Third be an asset defensively for Houston, but he'll also help NASA reach potential sentients in outer galaxies.
In terms of pure physical talent, Jones is as impressive a prospect as Anthony Davis and Andre Drummond, both of whom are in the top 5 of Ziller's mock.
The difference is Jones came back to school as a sophomore without addressing any of the concerns that popped up after his inconsistent freshman year. At 6'11 230, he has the athleticism to defend all three front-court positions in the NBA and score from either the perimeter or the low post, but he struggled to be consistent on a Baylor team with shoddy guard play.
Scott Drew's Baylor basketball program has become an absolute force on the recruiting trail over the last few years, and the fruits of that are now being shown in the 2012 NBA Draft.
In Chad Ford's latest mock draft from ESPN Insider, sophomore PF Perry Jones III and freshman SF Quincy Miller are both tabbed as first-round picks, with Jones going to the Golden State Warriors at No. 7 and Miller headed to the Denver Nuggets at No. 20:
Jones has the talent to be a top 3 pick and many scouts believe his best pro position will be at the 3, which is a need for Golden State. If he lives up to his potential, this is a home run of a pick. But the Warriors have had their share of athletic, underperforming tweeners (Anthony Randolph, Brandan Wright) in the past.
The Nuggets don't have any real glaring needs right now, which gives them the luxury of taking the best player left on the board. Had Miller stayed in school another year, he would've likely been a top 10 pick in 2013. He's great value here.
As Ford points out, Miller has an intriguing combination of length, athleticism and skill, which was somewhat hidden behind Jones last season. If he proves he has recovered from ACL surgery he had in his senior year of high school, he could be shooting up draft boards over the next two months.
This decision is a reversal from Miller's earlier statement on April 10 that he would return to Baylor in the coming season. He is expected to hire Dwon Clifton as his agent in preparation for entering the draft. Miller was the co-Big 12 Player of the Year and averaged 10.6 points per game in 2011-12.
Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports reports that the decision has been confirmed by Baylor men's head coach Scott Drew. According to Drew, Miller decided to enter the draft because he felt turning pro would be the best decision for him and for his family.
After Johnny Jones decided to leave for LSU, rumors began spreading around the internet that North Texas star freshman F Tony Mitchell would be following him out the door as well.
However, in a recent interview, Mitchell's old high school coach indicated that this isn't the case:
Despite Johnny Jones going to LSU, Tony Mitchell's high school coach told me the North Texas star "as of right now" will return to school.— Jeff Eisenberg (@JeffEisenberg) April 19, 2012
Making the decision all the more confusing is that there is another Tony Mitchell who is declaring for the NBA Draft: a 6'6 small forward from Alabama.
North Texas' version is considered the better prospect, as he put together an excellent freshman season after sitting out all of last year due to eligibility issues.
He would likely be a first-round if he declares for the draft, but he could move himself into lottery discussion next year with a strong sophomore campaign.
For all the latest news and rumors about the NBA Draft, stay tuned to the exclusive SB Nation Dallas storystream.
In his first mock draft after the NCAA's April 10 "deadline" (which is fairly meaningless since the NBA's deadline isn't until April 29) for underclassmen to declare for the NBA Draft, ESPN Insider Chad Ford has Baylor forward Perry Jones III falling to the Portland Trail Blazers at No. 11:
Jones may be a risk if selected with one of the first picks in the draft. But later in the lottery, he becomes a bargain. His size, athletic ability and skill level are all sky-high. He doesn't always play hard and really wants to be a wing more than a big, but at a certain point the reward outweighs the risk. A Portland team in rebuilding mode could be a really nice situation for Jones.
Jones, an athletic 6'11 235 forward with the athleticism to defend all three front-court positions, will be one of the most intriguing prospects in the 2012 Draft.
He never quite lived up to his expectations at Baylor, but a case can be made that it has more to do with the poor tactical job by Scott Drew as well as the team's lack of a true point guard to keep Jones involved in the offense.
However, there is also a widespread perception that Jones' inability to consistently dominate in college like Kentucky's Anthony Davis, who is quite similar physically, says something about his overall effort level and mentality.
Either way, if Jones falls behind Ohio State's Jared Sullinger, which Ford has happening, an NBA front office will have made a grievous mistake.
For all the latest news and notes about the local players in the NBA Draft, stay tuned to SB Nation's exclusive storystream.
Big 12 Co-Freshman of the Year Quincy Miller will return to Baylor for his sophomore season, he announced today.
On the same day that sources are reporting the Baylor men's basketball program may face NCAA sanctions, sophomore forward Perry Jones III declares for the NBA Draft.
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