As we've mentioned previously, getting drafted into the NBADL is key for potential prospects, but only to the point of which they use such a selection to propel themselves into training camp and impress the team's staff enough to secure a spot.
Of course, if a player finds himself "protected" by a team prior to the draft, he no longer has to worry about things out of his control. Getting "protected" means a team likes him enough already to bring him into camp, and now all that's left for him to do is let his play do the talking.
While many young guns will have to wait until draft day (Friday, November 1st) to see if they get such a shot, Ed Jones needs not to worry any longer.
Though the swingman was draft eligible last fall, an NBADL opportunity never came his way. That said, after impressing Delaware 87ers brass earlier this month at an open tryout, RidiculousUpside.com has learned that the team has protected him in anticipation of this year's draft.
While there are no further guarantees for players in Jones' position at this point, Delaware clearly likes him enough to keep him from everyone else. Last year, we analyzed the skill set of the swingman who, before heading overseas, had a solid collegiate career at NC A&T. See below:
As a wingman, he plays aggressive defense. Jones puts the pressure on his opponent by pestering them straight from the inbound pass, aiming to come up with the steal. What's perhaps even more impressive about his game is that from the moment he gets that coveted steal, it's go time on offense. Jones' aggression translates to the offensive side of the game as well, as he moves well in transition to drop in a lay-up or knock down a jumper.
Before playing briefly last season in Spain, Jones saw his game develop mightily at NC A&T. During his senior campaign, the wingman averaged 12.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game. He's the type of player who can keep the defense honest without necessarily dominating the game.
Earlier in the offseason, the 87ers (who are entering their first NBADL season) drafted a handful of minor league veterans who are expected to be in training camp. It'll be interesting to see if Jones is able to stand out on his own, or does so by being the type of guy who goes at his potential teammates hard defensively and pushes them during practice.