Colby Jones: 2023 NBA Draft Scouting Report
A well-rounded guard with real versatility, Jones could fall victim to lofty expectations
There’s a reason I dislike player comparisons.
For the most part, it’s about the false expectations I build up in my head once I see it or agree with the comp.
Colby Jones is one of the prospects in this class who falls victim to this game, where I inherently bring a comparison point in the current NBA to the table whenever thinking about his future role.
The comparison: New York Knicks guard Josh Hart.
Both are strong, competitive, and incredibly fundamentally sound. Both are hit-or-miss 3-point shooters without a ton of trust. Neither are pure scorers or pure facilitators, just good basketball players who combine both skills. On paper and in many ways, the overlaps between the two are sensible.
Hart is a really good NBA player, a valuable role player and defender who helps winning teams through and through. While he and Jones have a lot of comparison points and overlaps in their style of play, there is no guarantee that they’ll have the same impact while playing. What I fear, based on the frequent comparison points I see between the two, is that Jones might be overvalued or overinflated as a draft prospect and will not live up to the impact set forward.
The comparison takes place because, in some areas, it’s really fitting. Jones is a great connective passer and makes good reads out of secondary ball screens or dribble handoffs. He has the capability to take over a game on defense and really lock down multiple types of players on-ball. He’s improved as a catch-and-shoot option and feels somewhat reliable playing off-ball.
There’s a lot to like…
But upon the most recent dive into the tape at the end of his season, I also found a lot of little things that Jones simply doesn’t have in his game which are concerning. They don’t necessarily mean he cannot stick in the league or shouldn’t be considered a high-end role player at the guard spot. However, these flaws do seem more difficult to fix in my mind, thus heightening the burden on his defense and spot-up shooting to be what allows him to stick.