#18: Terrence Jones
With the 18th selection in the 2012 NBA draft, the Houston Rockets select Terrence Jones from Kentucky with the pick that came Houston’s way from their trade earlier this week that sent Chase Budinger to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Jones is a small forward/power forward who has a lot of versatility and will be a great addition to Houston. For those seeking immediate gratification, Jones is a player with much more upside than Budinger, who was a fan favorite before departing.
There has been a lot of speculation regarding Houston and their picks in this year’s draft, but at 18 Houston makes a solid choice here.
After two years at Kentucky, including a national championship, Jones is a lefty whom the Rockets believe will be able to create matchup problems for once he adjusts to the league. There are questions of what position he will be able to play in the NBA on a regular basis and Kevin McHale is not historically apt to play rookies a lot of minutes. Should Houston decide he will fit best at the power forward position in the NBA, who better to learn some tricks of the trade from than Kevin McHale?
With Houston selecting Jeremy Lamb from the University of Connecticut and Royce White from Iowa State, the Rockets have added more talent to their team. Most times, picks outside of the lottery are a crap-shoot and with some comparing Jones to Marvin Williams of the Atlanta Hawks, the Rockets are leaning on their plan to develop him into a better player than expected.
As the rumors continue during draft night and heading into free agency, it is currently unclear if the Rockets will make a move for a superstar player or if they are just gathering as much talent as possible. In either scenario the Rockets are in a good position, either finding pieces to utilize in a trade in this draft or by building a deep roster of young guys to develop together.
“I think we had a great draft,” said head coach Kevin McHale.