SI.com player evaluations: Terrence Jones

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Yesterday, Sam Amick wrote the first installment of his breakdown of all the top prospects in this year’s NBA Draft. We learned that he considers Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as Hitting the Jackpot prospects. Today, he released his next group of prospects, The Gambles.

2. The Gambles: (15 players): In short, this is where the risk gets weighed against the reward. Questions about these players’ games — and, in some cases, their attitudes or off-court issues — might give NBA decision makers cause for pause, but getting it right could result in a major payoff too. This story runs today.

For some reason he has decided to put Terrence Jones in this category. Here is what he had to say about the guy who just helped us win our 8th national championship.

Terrence Jones, Kentucky, sophomore forward (6-9, 252): Jones played a significant part in the Wildcats’ national championship after deciding to return to school. But his draft stock took a hit in the process, in large part because of his lack of consistency but also because his style of play might not fit his role at the next level. He often plays like a stretch power forward — a la Ryan Anderson of Orlando — but his shot isn’t nearly good enough to assume that role and it’s not likely he’ll be able to play much small forward in the NBA. But Jones is a good passer, defender and rebounder who averaged 12.3 points (on 50 percent shooting from the field and 32.7 percent from three-point range), 7.2 rebounds and 1.3 steals last season.

Jones definitely lacked consistency but the fact that he plays defense and rebounds will ensure he has a long and successful NBA career. He might not ever be the best player on his team, but Terrence Jones will be a solid starter in the NBA for a long time.

That’s not a gamble in my opinion.

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