Fifth in a nine-part series analyzing our top NBA draft choices for the Dallas Mavericks at No. 17 on June 28. We will look at one prospect a day leading up to the draft. ESPN.com Insider Chad Ford and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's and Mavs play-by-play man Chuck Cooperstein provide the inside goods. The order is alphabetical.
We always want college kids to stay a year or two longer to get that extra seasoning. Sometimes it's the right thing to do and sometimes, well, it's not.
We'll see if staying one more season at Baylor will help power forward Perry Jones III. According to ESPN.com Insider Chad Ford's latest mock draft, in which Jones is the 19th overall pick, it would seem staying for his sophomore season might have actually hurt his draft stock rather than help.
As for Jones' freshman teammate, coming out after just one inconsistent season doesn't seem like the most prudent of moves. Another year in Scott Drew's system and another year to get his knee right coming off the ACL injury during his senior year of high school would only seem to improve his standing and better prepare him for life in the NBA.
Still, his versatility, court intelligence and all-around skills should keep him in the first round where the money is guaranteed. And those traits will make general managers weigh his talented upside against the health risk his knee apparently still poses.
Here's a look at our next draft prospect:
School: Baylor (1 year)
2011-12 stats: 10.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Why he would fit: Size, athleticism, scoring ability at the 3? Sure, the Mavs will take that. Assuming Shawn Marion remains with the club, the two North Chicago boys could become fast friends.
Why he wouldn't fit: Very young and Mavs already have one small forward trying to work his way back from a knee injury in Kelenna Azubuike.
Chad Ford's thumbs up, thumbs down: Up -- Versatile skilled forward. ... Can play both the 3 and the 4. ... Good athlete. ... High basketball IQ. ... Can score inside and outside. ... Excellent rebounder/shot-blocker. Down -- Relies too heavily on his jump shot. ... Needs to add strength.
Coop's comment: Struggled last year at Baylor coming off the knee injury and apparently is still struggling to find the form that made him a top 10 recruit two years ago. Prior to the injury, he was your prototype small forward and there aren’t many of those in the NBA right now. Right now, though, he seems to be a mess.