|Perry Jones III might have knee issues down the line. (Getty Images)|
Even before Perry Jones III impressed in his Summer League debut for Oklahoma City with 16 points and eight rebounds, it was fairly universal: The Thunder got the steal of the draft.
A lottery talent with huge ability that slipped all the way down to No. 28. What good fortune! Sam Presti had hit another home run in the draft, despite taking what seems to be the most obvious player on the board.
But it left everyone asking how, why and what. How did OKC land Jones? Why did he fall? What were other teams thinking passing on him?
The reason everyone cited: Because he was medically red flagged before the draft due to a “meniscus issue.” What that entails or how that affects him is unknown. But whatever it was, the Thunder felt good enough about it to draft Jones anyway. And bear in mind, this is a pretty fickle organization when it comes to player health. The Thunder rescinded a one-sided trade for Tyson Chandler because of a big toe.
So what's the big deal with Jones' knees? They looked pretty alright in his first game Monday and for two years at Baylor? Would 24 teams really dare pass on him just because of that? Well, consider this from Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated CBS Sports:
NBA scout told me today his team's docs believe Perry Jones's knees will only hold up for 3-4 years in the league. Explains why he dropped.
Well then. That explains things a bit. But then again, a rookie contract lasts only four seasons, so if this is really the case, the Thunder will at least get a good amount of health from Jones.
And also, people are often wrong. Doctors don't always nail this stuff. Again, Chandler. Or DeJuan Blair. But for everyone Blair, there's a Brandon Roy. Except when you're the Thunder picking 28th with an almost entirely full roster, taking a chance on a guy that might have his career shortened isn't unwise.
If Jones only has three or four good years in him, that would be a shame. He's an intriguing talent in an equally intriguing situation in OKC. He's got a heap of talent and the potential to make a whole lot of NBA executives feel silly a couple years down the road. Or maybe even get a few medical examiners fired.
Guess we'll have to wait and see.