Since the Mavericks have made their last move of the summer, and since there's little to chase for another month or two, we at Mavs moneyball are going to have to get creative to give you, the reader, the quality reading experience you've come to expect from us. Part of this effort, of course, will entail sending me, Lisa, Josh, Tim, Alan, Tom, J0shi and the rest to the residences of certain lucky readers who will be asked only to sign waivers that they will neither murder us nor imprison us in sex dungeons. Another part, from me, will be offseason predictions.
And here is the first: Dom Jones, the 25th pick in the 2010 NBA draft, will never amount to much.Dom Jones opened up the Vegas Summer League this year with a terrific 32 point game, prompting the idea that he was ready to finally contribute. Unfortunately, two things are true.
First, he took 25 shots to score 32 points, a Kobesque night. Second, despite this, the 3rd highest point game in Vegas, and a nice follow up (21 points on only 12 shots), Dom did not finish as the Mavs' leading summer league scorer, which honor went to Jae Crowder (16.6 ppg). He fell off significantly. Considering the fact that Jones is entering his third season as an NBAer, and no other member of the Mavs' summer league team had played in the NBA the previous season (though there was some NBA experience in there), that shouldn't have happened.
With Jones, you have to pay attention to how he scores as much as the fact that he does. Last summer, he also performed quite well--but, several of us sounded a note of caution since a lot of those points (last year as this year) came off free throws and I, at least, didn't feel like he would get NBA calls. As it eventuated, he did not.
Jones hasn't played much in the NBA--51 games, 8 minutes a game--but he has, of course, practiced against actual NBA players for those two years. The fact that he is capable of occasionally lighting up Summer League defenses should not be surprising. The fact that he sometimes is not is much worse.
There was a lot of talk this summer about Dom Jones' improved stroke, but it's not really accurate. He had some good three-point shooting games, but he finished at 27.7%. There was a lot of talk about Jones' defense when he was drafted, but I didn't really see it in the games I watched.
There is something to be said for two things. First of all, led by Jones, the Mavericks had its best summer league in recent memory. He also continues to be underrated as a passer, I feel. We know he works hard, we know he's committed.
But the truth of the matter is, Dom Jones was drafted to get to the rim. He'll never be much of a shooter. And he won't shoot free throws, at the very least, until he bumps his minutes per game up to the point where NBA refs have heard of him. So, for me, if Dom Jones is going to be a success, you have to evaluate whether he can finish at the rim against NBA defenses.
Though he did that credibly in Summer League, the fact that, overwhelmingly, he should have if he is ever going to finish over Tim Duncan or Kevin Garnett, leaves me unimpressed.
The Mavericks are not stacked, at guard, but they are full up. Collison, West, Carter, Mayo, Roddy, Dahntay Jones and first round pick J-Flight will all be competing for playing time. Some of these guys may play some SF, and only Collison and West currently count as credible PGs, though Mayo has expressed interest.
Some people on this board have talked about trying to trade Dom Jones while his value is high, but in my opinion summer league performances don't do that even if, unlike Dom, the player in question hadn't faded significantly. Adam Morrison made his presence felt in summer league, and one of the fewer higher point efforts than Dom's first game was one by Byron Mullens, the man drafted by the Mavericks and traded for Roddy Beaubois and one of the NBA's most hideous players. I don't think it works that way.
I don't see Dom Jones breaking through that pack, barring injury. If he does, I don't see him doing any more than running the offense credibly for short spells. Obviously, for this prediction, I'd be happy to be wrong.