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.
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