Vanderbilt center Damian Jones declares for NBA draft, hiring agent

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Damian Jones said before the season he’d declare for the 2016 NBA draft.

The Vanderbilt center is sticking to the plan.

Vanderbilt release:

Vanderbilt junior center Damian Jones, a three-time All-SEC selection, has informed the Vanderbilt Athletics Administration that he has opted to forego his final year of eligibility and enter the NBA Draft.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN:

Jones is probably a late first-rounder, though he could fall to the second.

The 7-foot Jones has nice size for a center, and his athleticism is outstanding. His positioning needs work, but he has the tools to thrive in the modern NBA defensively.

He’s more of a work in progress offensively, but he projects to fare better at the next level. Vanderbilt often posted him up, which was not his forte. NBA teams will more often use him as the screener in pick-and-rolls, a role that better suits him.

You have to do a little more projecting than ideal for someone who spent three years in college, but there is a clear path for Jones to NBA success. In this draft, that likely puts you in the first round.