Following five NBA seasons spent with the Rockets, Pelicans, and Bucks from 2012-17, former NBA lottery selection and NCAA champion Terrence Jones has rejoined The Association, returning to familiar stomping grounds in Houston. While the setting may be the same, the forward — who has spent parts of the last two seasons in the NBA G League — maintains that along with his arrival comes a much different player and person than before.
“I’m ready. I want to get back to my dream job, which is the NBA. I have had the opportunity to reflect on the good and bad of my career. It’s a full blessing to be in the NBA and put that jersey on,” Jones told NBAGLeague.com, adding that his time in Erie this season reminded him of his initial days chasing the NBA dream back in college at Kentucky.
Support has been everywhere: “I’m appreciative of the opportunity the BayHawks [gave me] to display my talents. They understand me as a person. My teammates care for me and are rooting me on. It’s been nothing but a positive to try and create the chance to get picked up by another team.”
A past NBA G League Player of the Week, Jones has averaged 23.5 points and 9.3 rebounds with the BayHawks this season. Those are impressive numbers, but while in Erie, the big man says he came to understand that everyone has a role on their respective squad and not everyone needs to be a dominant scorer. What’s more, he’s continued to remain focused on making the most out of whatever minutes come his way. As a veteran of play at the next level, he’s made an effort to share such wisdom with fellow minor-league athletes.
“I’m communicating. Worrying about playing 30 minutes or scoring 20 points can be very stressful. I’ve been communicating that this is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to stay patient,” Jones said. “I’ve been in my teammates’ ears, giving them positive vibes and making sure they don’t get upset. Things can be frustrating, so for me, it’s been great to be a mentor and help guys in their journey.”
Now getting his own time to shine in Houston once again, Jones will switch gears to proving what he can do on the court. He’s elevated his game, becoming a more versatile talent than before. This season, he’s shooting a career-high 38% from three-point range for the BayHawks (up from a 30% career-mark in the NBA) and is especially proud of the way his court vision is coming along (5.6 assists per game). Both improved facets of his game could pay dividends for the Rockets.
“My play-making skills have improved. I can read the defense. Coming out of the pick-and-roll, I can make the pass to a big. I’m finding guys open and am really proud of that,” Jones said. “Making plays for others has been rewarding and something that I’ve been happy about.”
Following a steady career in the NBA, the 27-year-old has had to wait for another opportunity to come his way. Following time to grow personally and professionally, he believes he is now more prepared to make an even greater impact, and his goals are clear.
“I need to stay consistent. I want to show my professionalism both on and off the court. It’s been a real push for me and something I’ve wanted to show more of. I want to show that I’m a better leader and better person to everyone around me,” Jones explained. “I just think my life is in a better stage than before and that’s why … I’m ready for the NBA again.”