You won't find Kevin Jones' name in the first round of Alex Lee's Hoops Rumors mock draft, or anyone else's mock draft for that matter. However, if agent Bill Neff is to be believed, the power forward out of West Virginia will be off the board before pick No. 31 rolls around.
“A team in the first round has committed to him,” Neff told Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog. “The question is, what does that mean? I never trust anything other than what happens on draft night…He’ll get drafted,” Neff added. “It’s either them in the first or early second.”
The news that Jones has a promise in the first-round came as a surprise to many, largely because as even Neff admitted, he's not the most electrifying talent in this year's class. However, his blue-collar skill set could have impressed any number of the teams he worked out for, including the Mavericks, Celtics, Hawks, Heat, Thunder, Bulls, Warriors, Spurs, and Lakers. At a shade under 6'8", Jones has shown that he can be a quality rebounder during his time with the Mountaineers and doesn't shy away from physical play inside.
However, you shouldn't expect to scroll through Jones' highlight reel and spot high-flying dunks. The power forward scores a lot of his points facing the basket from mid-range with the occasional bucket in the post. His game might not send the crowd into a frenzy, but it did prove to be effective in his senior campaign. Jones raised his average to 19.9 PPG off of 59% shooting in 2011/12.
Jones' lack of explosion won't allow him to keep pace with a team that likes to run and despite being a quality defender, he likely doesn't have the lateral speed to step outside and pick up guards. He's also undersized for the four-spot and doesn't have the leaping ability to make him a true shot blocking threat at the next level. But does Jones need all of that to find his way into the back-end of the first round? Neff told Zagoria that despite his physical limitations, he "murdered" likely lottery picks Tyler Zeller and Meyers Leonard in head-to-head matchups.
"He's not sexy," the agent explained. "He's just productive."