Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Value of James Jones

It makes sense for Portland's NMVP to do it. It became official that James Jones would opt-out of his Blazers contract. Of course, he has said he is open to returning to Portland next season if they make a fair market effort to retain his services. The draft may have taken the focus off of Jones, but this should be a serious issue for Blazers fans.

In an above link ESPN calls Jones a 3-point specialist. Shooting from deep is definitely his strength (44% last season), but it is far from his only one. He has been willing and able to mentor the younger players on the team. He has excellent basketball savvy. He plays above average defense. He had the third highest +/- on the team amongst players that played more than 20 minutes a game. Most of the Blazers winning came when Jones was healthy and getting consistent playing time.

You Blazer fans that scream for Portland to add a veteran to the team should appreciate what is right under your nose. That veteran you seek was here all along and is slowly walking out of the building, waiting for someone to give him a reason to stop. I'm not sure it will happen.

We may have seen the last of Jones in a Portland uniform. Roster spots are still at a premium in Portland. Worse for him is that his injury history may keep teams from offering the type of contract he is seeking. The player who was Portland's best SF last season may walk away from the team with (comparatively) little to show for it. Best of luck Mr. Jones.

7 comments:

gudmund said...

Yeah, this one hurts. I thought he was the second most important person in terms of winning on the team. I like Martell and still think he could be really good, but when you've got Oden, Aldridge, Roy, and now a young buck in Bayless, really the only position we can go after a legitimate veteran with is SF. Hate to say it, but Webster, probably Diogu, and RLEC are prime trade beef right now.

Jack Brown said...

It will be real interesting to see what the Blazers do with Jones. They know how important he was last season. I could see that they want to give other guys more time though, so maybe they take the possible short term hit with long term benefits in mind. We'll see.

Tyler Hinds said...

Hey Jack, why does it make sense for Jones to opt out? He was scheduled to make over 3 mil next year, and last year he had knee troubles... wouldn't it make sense for him to ride out his contract and try to put together a solid year in hopes that he could earn a long term deal that way? Do you think he'll be able to pick up a deal worth more than 3 mil a year? I don't know about that...

Jack Brown said...

Thats his gamble, that why I wrote that he could walk away with little from this move. Considering his injuries, I'm not totally sure he is even convinced he'll get a better deal.

Maybe he read the writing on the wall and figured his opportunities to be a major contributor with all the exciting young talent around were shrinking.

Tyler Hinds said...

It's too bad for both sides, because I think he would have a similar role as he did last year: sharpshooter, wily vet, etc. That is, if Martell doesn't blossom like we all hope he does. Then it won't matter...

Jack Brown said...

Fair enough. In the grand scheme of Blazer things, this is a pretty small little bummer if we lose Jones.

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