Jemerrio Jones, who appeared in six games during the 2018-2019 season with the Los Angeles Lakers, was the top pick of 76ers affiliate the Delaware Blue Coats in Monday’s G League draft.
The 17 NBA G League teams, who will play in Kissimmee, Fla. beginning next month, had selections in the three-round draft. The Blue Coats had traded their first-round pick and didn’t select Jones until the first pick in the second round, 18th overall.
The reason that Jones was eligible for the draft was he played last season for the G League’s Wisconsin Herd, which opted not to play this year. If players returned to teams not playing, they were eligible to be drafted.
With their other selection, the Blue Coats chose Braxton Key of Virginia with the first pick of the third round, 25th overall. Key played during the 2019-2020 season for the University of Virginia and was not selected in the NBA draft.
The 6-foot-5 Jones is a product from New Mexico State, where in 2018, he was named the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) player of the year.
Jones then played for the Lakers’ G League affiliate the South Bay Lakers, where he averaged 9.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 24.7 minutes in 47 games during the 2018-19 season. He then appeared in six late-season games with the Lakers, averaging 4.5 points and 8.2 rebounds in 23.8 minutes.
Jones was traded in July of 2019 to the Washington Wizards as part of a three-team deal. He played summer league and spent training camp with the Wizards. After being waived in October of 2019, he signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Milwaukee Bucks. Exhibit 10 players get bonuses of up to $50,000 to sign with a team’s G League affiliate if waived. They have to play for the affiliate for at least 60 days to get paid.
After being waived by the Bucks, Jones played 42 games for their affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd, averaging 10.8 points and 12.2 rebounds in 30.4 minutes.
“He is a guy who played in our league for the better part of two seasons and has NBA experience,” Blue Coats general manager Matt Lilly said about Jones in a phone interview. “He is a pretty unique player who finds multiple ways to impact a game.”
At all levels Jones has made his name as a rebounder.
“At 6-5, he is one of the best rebounders in the league,” Lilly said. “He is super versatile defensively and offensively, he has a high IQ.”
Key is a 6-8 guard who turns 24 next month. He began his college career at Alabama before playing his final two seasons at Virginia. As a junior he started six games for Virginia, which won the national championship. During Virginia’s 85-77 overtime national championship win over Texas Tech, Key had six points and tied his season high with 10 rebounds off the bench.
Last season he averaged 9.9 points and team-high 7.4 rebounds.
“With his size and defensive ability he has legitimate NBA potential,” Lilly said, “If he can get his shot to where it was early in his career, with his defensive ability, it is easy to see an NBA path for him.”
The top pick in the draft was 6-6 Admiral Schofield, a former star at the University of Tennessee, who averaged 16 points per game last season for the Washington Wizards G League affiliate the Capital City Go-Go. Schofield was selected by the Greensboro Swarm.