The Minnesota Timberwolves have three selections in the top-35 picks of the 2020 NBA Draft. Mason Jones, a guard from Arkansas, may be on their board in the second round.
Mason Jones is a score-first player that can play either guard spot. He has a smooth shot, was consistent scoring at all three levels of the court this past year, and showed some decent playmaking ability.
Jones is pretty awful at defense, though. It’s bad. Really, really bad. Trae Young/rookie James Harden levels of bad defense. Michael Jordan at 57 years of age would be a better defender than Mason Jones entering the NBA -- and that is not an exaggeration.
But the good in Jones can look really amazing. Against Auburn this past season, he put up 40 points on 24 shots -- simply incredible efficiency. In another game against Tulsa, Jones scored 41 points on 19 shots -- even better. A lot of his efficiency can be attributed to his incredible ability to draw fouls. Whether it be at the rim or beyond the 3-point line, Jones has made a habit of drawing contact (and often still making his shot). He averaged over nine free throw attempts per game.
Jones also got better as the season went along. He averaged 27 points per game over his final dozen games at Arkansas, on splits of 48/37/80, which is very, very good for the volume of shots he took.
On the downside, though, Jones displayed really inconsistent scoring. In the eleven games prior to the aforementioned final dozen games of the season, Jones shot less than 40-percent from the field on over 13 shots per game, an undeniably rough mark for a volume scorer.
Fit on the Timberwolves
Mason Jones will, in all likelihood, be a sixth man (or something resembling it) at the NBA level. Whether he sticks at the next level will depend on whether he can improve his defense and shooting consistency. Jones can create separation against college players with ease and has a really nice-looking jump-shot. Typically, those two traits together would make any player a guaranteed first-round pick, but Jones’s age and defensive limitations drop him into the second round on most boards.
For the Timberwolves, Jones is not an ideal fit with either D’Angelo Russell nor Karl-Anthony Towns. Rather, he’s a player that can step in and run an offense when neither player is on the floor. Jones' combination of overall scoring and passing make him one of the few second-round projected players that can step in and contribute immediately.
Mason Jones is an intriguing prospect that may be on the Timberwolves’ radar as the draft process goes along. He can pass well and score at all three levels. The defense is horrid and will absolutely need work if he wants to find consistent minutes, however, Jones may be able to make a career out of his offensive game.