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Baylor forward could be a steal for Thunder if healthy

The SportsXchange

The draft for the Oklahoma City Thunder appears to be a case of the rich getting richer. Not only is the roster already stacked with young talent, it added another lottery-quality player at the end of the first round in Perry Jones III.

The 6-foot-11 forward out of Baylor was projected in most mock drafts to go in the lottery -- in some cases in the top 10. Injury concerns likely caused the fall, as reports surfaced about a problem in the meniscus in one of his knees.

That didn't scare off Thunder general manager Sam Presti, who snagged Jones with the 28th pick. Jones joins a club that's coming off a Western Conference title and trip to the NBA Finals. He also said his favorite player is new teammate Kevin Durant.

Although Jones expected to be picked up by a rebuilding team much higher in the draft, he has no problem joining a championship hopeful in Oklahoma City.

"It wouldn't matter to me if they were a contender or not," he said. "They are somebody I could see myself playing with. They like to run the floor real well, and they are one of the best teams, and I know I can learn from them.

"What's better than learning from one of the best teams? They were in the Finals. They have great players, great coach. This is just an opportunity for me to grow."

Jones gives coach Scott Brooks another weapon on the frontline who can play multiple positions. He averaged 13.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists last season at Baylor.
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