The New Orleans Pelicans agreed to a one-year contract with forward Terrence Jones.
In a summer where Timofey Mozgov received a contract for $64 million from the Los Angeles Laers and Matthew Dellavedova inked a $38 million offer sheet from the Milwaukee Bucks, somehow Terrence Jones was not signed until mid-July and then only for a one-year deal at or near the league minimum.
In his four seasons in the NBA, Jones has shown himself to be a young player with potential. Jones has career averages of 10.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, averaging only 24.1 minutes per game.
Perhaps it was his rash of recent injuries, most of them being on the freak side, that led to the Houston Rockets deciding not to extend a qualifying offer to Jones or the fact that he had fallen out of the rotation last season, but did the Rockets give up on the 24-year-old out of Kentucky too soon?
Jones is a player who has posted a career VORP of 2.8 and during the 2013-14 season had 7.3 win shares while starting 71 games for a 54-win team. Jones accumulated 18 double-doubles that season and had three games scoring 30 or more points as a second-year player in the league.
Jones’ numbers have declined the past two seasons, coinciding with a drop in minutes and the aforementioned falling out of the rotation completely by the end of last year — a move that seems to have prevented Jones from cashing in during the biggest NBA offseason pay day in history.But as the saying goes, Jones may find himself as another man’s treasure as the New Orleans Pelicans have inked him to a one-year contract in a deal that could prove beneficial for both parties.
Jones will have the opportunity to resurrect his career and cash in next summer while the Pelicans get some much needed help on the front line.
The Pelicans started Omer Asik 64 times last season, yet he only played just more than17 minutes per game, posting paltry averages of 4.0 points and 6.1 rebounds per contest.
Jones could bring a much more athletic and dynamic component to the Pelicans frontcourt to pair with Anthony Davis and his only other challenger right now for playing time aside from Asik would be rookie Cheick Diallo, a raw but talented prospect out of Kansas.
This looks to be an extremely low risk gamble for New Orleans.
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After four years that number has dropped to shooting less than half of his shots from that range.
Jones contrasts that nicely — for his career, 76 percent of his shots have been within 10 feet while 16 percent have been three-point attempts, meaning he spends very little time working the mid-range area from where Davis shoots 41 percent of the time.
Defensively Jones doesn’t bring quite the size and rebounding ability of Asik, but he’s certainly a more mobile and athletic player.
Davis has the ability to defend the 5 spot and Jones has career positive numbers in defensive win shares and defensive box plus/minus so he vastly improves their offensive capabilities while really not hurting anything defensively in a swap from Asik.
If Jones can stay healthy, something that has been an issue for many of the players recently in New Orleans, they could finally have the help Davis and Jrue Holiday need to get the Pelicans into the playoffs and Jones can look for his big pay day next summer.