They’re not quite a power or a small forward, but something in between. Their value lies in either the ability to play both forward positions or to bring a different dimension, usually 3-point shooting, to the PF position. The important things to look for in such players are an ability to rebound and defend at least adequately as a PF and a diverse set of skills, preferably including an ability to hit the trey. With that in mind, I’m going to what I did with the pure SFs and just toss all the stats out there for your enjoyment and perusal. First the percentages:
Players FG 2PP 3PP ADJFG
Green, Draymond .449 .473 .388 .504
Jones, Kevin .509 .590 .266 .542
Jones, Perry .500 .520 .303 .514
Jones, Terrence .500 .528 .327 .523
Pope, Herb .471 .486 .354 .491
Scott, Mike .563 .577 .300 .571
White, Royce .534 .541 .333 .540
The per 40 numbers adjusted for pace:
Player P40 R40 A40 S40 B40 TO40 A/TO
Green, Draymond 19.56 12.79 4.59 1.76 1.17 3.65 1.26
Jones, Kevin 20.15 11.04 1.26 0.71 1.04 1.29 0.98
Jones, Perry 17.41 9.86 1.64 1.10 0.78 2.19 0.75
Jones, Terrence 16.50 9.57 1.79 1.72 2.39 2.18 0.82
Pope, Herb 19.46 13.38 1.87 1.40 2.18 3.39 0.55
Scott, Mike 24.40 11.25 1.57 0.89 0.64 2.84 0.55
White, Royce 16.84 11.67 6.28 1.48 1.18 4.80 1.31
A lot of guys named Jones this year. Not a bad group overall. Like all the frontcourt positions this year there are a few players I’d be happy with my team drafting after pick #20 or so, but not many worth taking before that. Most of these players aren’t going to be starters, but a few could become solid role players. Players are listed in order of how I would draft them, all other things being equal.
Terrence Jones, Kentucky: Like all the Kentucky players not named Anthony Davis, he something of a mystery. There are definitely some good things about him. There are also some negatives. The question is how much those negatives had to do with playing in a frontcourt with Anthony Davis. Here’s a look at Jones without Davis as a freshman and with Davis as a sophomore.
Terrence Jones 2PP 3PP P40 R40 SB40
Freshman .465 .329 20.1 11.3 3.9
Sophomore .528 .327 16.5 9.6 4.1
It’s safe to say that his stats took something of a hit because of the arrival of Anthony Davis. His rebounding was down this year, but the fact that he posted the 11.3 R40 as a frosh tells me he has what it takes to become at least an adequate rebounder as a pro. His defensive numbers remained strong and his 3-pointer fell at an OK rate. The biggest concern is he has never hit the 2-point shot like a NBA PF prospect should. There was improvement as a soph, but it’s not as impressive because he scored less.
The weak scoring aside, I do like Jones as a prospect. The main reason is he looks like he’ll be a solid defender. He has both the numbers and the length of a very good NBA defender. That in itself makes him valuable. His offense is a problem and it seems likely that he’ll never be much of a scorer. I do feel that he offers enough in the way of defense, shooting and upside that he easily is the best of this bunch and he shouldn’t fall past the late lottery.
Royce White, Iowa State: The problem with White is his main skill is passing. He’s a decent enough rebounder, but what makes him stand out is his passing ability. Passing has never translated into NBA greatness, or even competence for PFs. Here are past NCAA combo forwards who topped 5.0 A40 along with decent rebounding skills.
Player 2PP 3PP P40 R40 A40 SB40 TO40
Rick Fox .537 .342 23.6 9.3 5.3 3.5 4.1
Danny Ferry .544 .425 27.2 8.9 5.7 2.6 4.0
Billy Owens .511 .317 20.3 9.3 5.1 3.3 4.2
Josh Grant .516 .303 15.4 10.7 5.1 2.7 3.6
Ter. Williams .459 .385 14.5 9.9 5.8 3.6 2.7
Mark Davis .528 .333 21.4 10.5 5.9 3.6 4.4
Spencer Nelson .663 .270 22.3 11.0 6.6 2.3 3.5
Geoff McDermott .522 .281 11.7 9.2 5.6 3.1 4.1
Royce White .541 .333 16.8 11.7 6.3 2.6 4.8
This is not a great group. Ferry, Owens and Williams were all busts on one level or another. Fox was a decent player, but in general this is not a group any prospect should want to be in with. It’s also worth noting that White has the lowest SB40 of the group, so his defense is questionable at best.
I don’t see White as much of a prospect. As a PF neither his offense nor his defense is where it needs to be. As an SF there’s some promise. His scoring needs to improve and his turnovers need to decline. There are some interesting skills. But the idea of a 260 lb. point forward just defies logic.
There’s always some intrigue with a unique player like White. The mind starts to race with possibilities when it thinks of the matchup nightmares such a player creates. But the history of such players just isn’t that good. The similar players who were highly-rated coming out of college were busts. White isn’t special enough to think he’ll be any different. He’ll be an OK bench player if used right, but that’s about it.
Draymond Green, Michigan State: The table in the Royce comment applies to Green as well. Passing is his most impressive skill and that just hasn’t translated all that well for PFs. Green worries me as a PF as it is. He’s an excellent rebounder, but his low 2-point pct. and weak (for a PF prospect) defensive numbers suggest he’ll be overmatched on both ends of the court as a PF.
As a small forward he’s more impressive, but still has something of a mismatched skill set that is hard to see translating to the next level. As the Royce table shows, a rebounding/passing combination just hasn’t traditionally been a ticket to NBA success. Green has some skills, but it really isn’t the right mix for an NBA player. He’s a rebounder/shooter. I’m sure that he can be productive if spotted correctly, but he’s basically a good role player at best.
Perry Jones III, Baylor: I’m not going to get too much into Perry Jones and how overrated he has been throughout his short college career. He’s fading in the mocks, so there’s no need to commit an entire piece to him, as I did with Barnes. Anyone who can looks at stats or has even seen his passive play on the court can see that he’ll struggle at the next level. Had he not come into college as such a highly-touted player, he’d be a marginal prospect at best.
Jones III doesn’t score, rebound or defend at a level that would make him a prospect. He seems to be fading so quickly that I don’t think we can even call him a potential bust any longer. Some team will eventually roll the dice in the hope that the raw talent that made him a top 5 prep prospect will manifest itself with the proper guidance. But that rarely works. He could become a decent stretch-the-defense PF if his shot falls more often. That’s his high end.
Herb Pope, Seton Hall: The one huge negative for Pope is his career 2-point pct. is under 50%. For a PF that’s a tough thing to overcome. He’s also a 5th-year senior, so he offers little in the way of upside. He has always been an excellent rebounder and solid defender. He doesn’t take a lot of 3-pointers, but has hit 33% in his last 3 seasons. The combination of rebounding, defense and outside shooting is a skill set any team would want in a bench player. That makes him a solid round 2 selection.
Kevin Jones, West Virginia: Jones had a nice finish to his college career as a senior. He showed he could rebound and scored efficiently from both inside and out. He did this as an older senior and that makes it less impressive. He also is still seriously lacking defensively. Not a good prospect. Worth a UFA look, but that’s all.
Mike Scott, Virginia: Similar to Kevin Jones, but a year older. As an older senior he had his best year and looked like a prospect for the first time in his career. He rebounded well and showed good offensive skills from both inside and out. As I’ve mentioned, showing up as a prospect in your 5th-year senior season after a mediocre first 3 years just isn’t all that impressive. But it is better than not showing up at all. Scott is a long shot, but he’s worth a look.