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NBA PM: Perry Jones III Excited for Fresh Start

Perry Jones III is excited to get a fresh start and increased role with the young Boston Celtics.

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Updated 10 months ago on
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Perry Jones III Excited for Fresh Start

After spending three seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Perry Jones III is getting a fresh start with the Boston Celtics.

Oklahoma City recently dealt the 23-year-old forward and a 2019 second-round pick to Boston in exchange for a $2.1 million trade exception and a protected 2018 second-round draft pick.

Now, after playing limited minutes in the first three years of his NBA career with the Thunder, Jones seems poised for an increased role on the young Celtics. He’s looking forward to the opportunity and is determined to make the most of it.

“[I’ll bring] whatever they need, mostly athleticism,” Jones said, according to ESPN’s Chris Forsberg. “I haven’t had a chance to showcase that – playing-wise – because of opportunities I had and or didn’t have. One thing I can bring is a lot of athleticism, energy and a lot of passion.”

When asked if he didn’t get a fair chance in Oklahoma City, Jones hesitated but admitted that’s how he feels.

“I’m going to say yeah,” Jones said, according to ESPN. “I’m just happy for this fresh new start – new start, new system, different conference – just a whole different new start. Hopefully everything works for the best.”

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge seemed to agree.

“With OKC, there hasn’t been as much of an opportunity for him to play as much as he would like as a youngster on a team trying to compete for a championship,” Ainge told ESPN. “But [he is] very athletic – a different type of player than we have in the frontcourt right now with his athleticism and length.”

Jones played a significant role for the Thunder early in the 2014-15 season due to injuries. He even had a three-game stretch in the first week of the season in which he averaged 22.7 points. However, in the fifth game of the campaign, he sustained a bone bruise that sidelined him and diminished his role moving forward.

“That’s frustrating for anybody, especially having those good games, and I was feeling good about myself and confident and then things change,” Jones said of watching his role decrease after his strong start. “I had my injury and everyone came back, things went back to the way they were. It was frustrating, but it has taught me a lot, and it’s taught me I can play in this league.”

While he may not have played as much as he would’ve liked in Oklahoma City, Jones did say that he learned a ton from his time with the Thunder organization.

“[I learned about] working hard every day, whether you get minutes or not, whether you are playing or not, whatever the case may be,” Jones said. “Just come in and work, that’s something I pride myself on.”

Jones said Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, in particular, taught him a lot about being a professional.

“[They taught me to] work hard every day, pay attention to detail,” Jones said of Durant and Westbrook. “Those guys helped me to work hard every day, before and after practice. I learned a lot from superstars. You learn a lot.”

Now, Jones joins a Celtics team that is lacking a star but has a talented group of up-and-coming players and a great head coach in Brad Stevens. He should fit right in and play more minutes than he has in any other season of his NBA career.

Last season, Jones averaged 4.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per game. Over the course of his three-year NBA career, he has averaged 3.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 11.7 minutes per game.

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Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and this is his 10th season covering the NBA. He is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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