Kevin Jones And The 2012 NBA Draft - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

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Kevin Jones And The 2012 NBA Draft

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MORGANTOWN -

The so-called experts are all firing up their crystal balls to tell you where players are going to go in the NBA draft. The bottom line, nobody really knows. The Seattle Seahawks proved that with their selection of West Virginia's Bruce Irvin with the No. 15 overall pick.

I asked my magic-8 ball if Kevin Jones would be taken in the first round. It's answer, try again later.

Since that method failed, let's try using a little logic.

Kevin Jones attended 12 different NBA workouts in various NBA cities around the country. That is more than one-third of the league.

Some of them only have first round picks. Others currently have just second round picks. What does that mean? Absolutely nothing. Some of those teams could be looking to move up or down in the draft via trades.

Jones helped himself at the NBA combine by shooting very well from the outside. Teams know he can work the glass and rebound the ball. Shooting well from the outside helped his stock in a big way because it showed these scouts he is versatile.

Let's look at the list of teams he worked out for and where they currently sit in the draft order. Keep in mind there are a total of 60 picks in the NBA draft, 30 picks in the first round followed by 30 picks in the second round.

TEAM 1st RD. PICKS 2nd RD. PICKS
Atlanta No. 23 No. 43
Boston No. 21, No. 22 No. 51
Chicago No. 29 None
Dallas No. 17 No. 55
Golden State No. 7, No. 30 No. 35, No. 52
LA Lakers None No. 60
Miami No. 27 None
Memphis No. 25 None
Oklahoma City No. 28 None
Orlando No. 19 No. 49
Sacramento No. 5 No. 36
San Antonio None No. 59

Jones would be a very good fit in Boston and Oklahoma City. Boston needs to start thinking about the future with players like Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce getting up there in age. Jones would immediately provide help off the bench and could grow into a replacement for those guys in the starting lineup as he gains experience.

Oklahoma City could use some rebounding help for Kevin Durant. Durant is proving to be one of the league's best players and will draw the corresponding attention from opponents. Having a good rebounder like Jones to help while Durant is double-teamed could be a great fit for the Thunder who appear to have all the other pieces in place to potentially make another run at the NBA finals.

The Los Angeles Lakers could be an interesting landing spot for Jones; however, the only reason the Lakers worked him out is if they intend to move up in the draft and that is probably more likely than not.

Keep an eye on Memphis and the No. 25 overall pick. Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace is from West Virginia and recently called predicting where Jones lands in the draft a "crapshoot." There is some truth to that, but these General Manager's will use the media at times to play games with their opposing General Manager's into getting them thinking that they are not interested in a player just to then take that player.

Imagine Kevin Jones going to the Miami Heat. The Heat just won their first title since adding LeBron James and Chris Bosh to a team that already included Dwyane Wade. Jones role on that team would be simple. Rebound the ball and look for any of those three guys to score.

In past NBA drafts, Mountaineer fans have wondered if a Mike Gansey or Kevin Pittsnogle would be drafted. WVU fans can go into this draft feeling very confident that Jones will be taken in the draft. The question is not will he be picked, but where will he be picked.

There is a big difference for a player taken No. 30 versus No. 31 overall. All first round picks receive guaranteed money for the first two years. Second round picks do not get that luxury.

It's time for a prediction. The magic-8 ball is leaving me high and dry. I believe Jones will go in the first round. I think he improved his draft stock enough through the NBA combine. The teams he worked out for following the combine fall into the late-first round mold. I will predict Jones goes No. 28 overall to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Submit your predictions in the comments section below.

The NBA draft begins tonight at 7 pm on ESPN.

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