The Celtics more or less acquired forward Perry Jones III for free from Oklahoma City Tuesday as the Thunder will rid themselves of $7 million in salary and potential luxury tax problems.
Boston gave up a protected 2018 second round pick in the deal and also acquired a second round pick. They will only have to pay Jones a little over $2 million in 2015-16, assuming he makes the team.
Thunder star Kevin Durant once said that Jones was “the best athlete in the league” as the former Baylor star can jump out of the gym. The 23-year-old Jones was the 28th overall pick in the 2012 draft and was linked to the Celtics in many mock drafts that summer. The C’s instead selected Syracuse’s Fab Melo, who now plays professionally in Puerto Rico.
Jones played exceptionally well early in the 2014-15 season as he filled in for the injured Durant. He scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed seven boards against the Clippers on Oct. 30, 2014. But there were far too many nights like the one that occurred on Jan. 28, 2015 in an OKC loss to the lowly Knicks in which Jones played big minutes and didn’t produce. In that game, he did not score, had two turnovers and three fouls. Jones quickly fell out of favor with the Thunder coaching staff after that game and only played 20 or more minutes one more time the rest of the season.