With Omer Asik on the bench due in part to his request for a trade, Terrence Jones started at power forward for the Houston Rockets on Thursday night against the New York Knicks and he had six points, eight rebounds, two assists and one steal in close to 34 minutes of action after Greg Smith went down with a right knee injury to further thin Houston’s frontcourt.
Jones has started the last two games and played over 30 minutes in three straight games, so does he now belong on the radar of fantasy basketball owners?
Jones started the season slowly, playing less than 10 minutes in each of the first four games and totaling nine points and one rebound. But with the increase in playing time over the last few games has come better production, including a double-double (10 points and 11 rebounds, along with three blocked shots) against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.
Jones spent most of his 2012-2013 rookie season in the D-League, averaging 5.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and one blocked shot per game in 19 games with the Rockets (14.5 minutes per game) late in the season. So not a lot should be taken from that limited sample, and fantasy owners can completely disregard it with how Jones’ situation has changed early this season.
Even though he has played over 100 combined minutes in the last three games, Jones has only attempted 24 field goals (nine makes) over that span as clearly a secondary offensive option for the Rockets. So he is likely to at best be an inconsistent scoring option for fantasy owners even with an increased role, and his best contribution will come in two categories (rebounds and blocked shots).
Jones may quickly become a popular waiver wire pickup, particularly if the Rockets trade Asik soon, but as of now he is still available in 89 percent of Yahoo! leagues. For owners that keep realistic expectations and don’t expect Jones to become an instant star, there is some value to be had here in deeper leagues.