With Jonas dominating for his home country of Sweden against what many would consider amateur caliber opposition, there have been plenty of discussions around what the future might hold for JJ as a player in this league.
I'm all for tempering expectations when it comes to Jonas. He far surpassed everyone's expectations last year so from that perspective, I have tempered my own expectations if only so I can experience 2 consecutive years of JJ exceeding them.
But with only 1 season in the NBA I also think its unfair to blindly write off the possibility of stardom. Based on his first season of stats he could very well be the next Dirk/David West/Rashard Lewis or the next Troy Murphy/Boris Diaw/Jeff Green. To prove my point I compared JJ's rookie season to the 2 above groups of players:
- I used Dirk's 2nd season, Rashard's 2nd season, and West's 1st season
- I used the 1st season for Diaw, Murphy, and Jeff Green
I realize these are small subsets and obviously hand-picked although I did narrow the above average field down from a larger list that also included Charlie V, Bargnani, and Darius Songalia. I selected these particular players because their ages were close to what JJ's was in his rookie season and DBB's general consensus of the players range from quiet appreciation in the case of Troy Murphy to complete lack of interest in the case of Jeff Green. This is not perfect but I do think that it provides enough data to substantiate my conclusion below. As always, I'm posting this for discussion, so I definitely appreciate an opposing point of view and in no way am taking the "lone wolf" stance on JJ's potential. In this pack, there are many. And today, I hope to add at least one more wolf.
JJ single season comparison to the "Star Group":
In this case, JJ's offensive rating is the highest in the group at 113 while Dirk's is 2nd highest at 112. I'd argue that Dirk and Rashard greatly benefitted from having Steve Nash and Gary Payton as their point guards in their second season in the league. Additionally, JJ's True Shooting % and EFG% are in-line with these three "star" power forwards. Lastly, his PER is the lowest in this group of PFs, however he's being compared to Lewis and Dirk's 2nd year PERs when as mentioned before, Dirk and Rashard were both playing with prolific point guards
JJ single season comparison to the "Above Average" group:
Looking again at offensive rating, the gap between JJ and the above average players is pretty significant. As is the gap in True Shooting % and EFG%. Lastly, his PER which understandably is not a perfect statistic by any means is a full 4 points higher than anyone else in this group.
JJ is currently more simlar to the star group than he is to the "above average" group on the offensive end as far as statistics go. While these small subsets don't guarantee stardom for JJ, they should provide us with enough evidence to be cautiously optimistic about what the future holds for JJ. Now Rashard and Dirk would both be considered better ball handlers and sported higher % from beyond the arc, but both of these are areas that Jonas could easily improve on and obviously has the work ethic to do so.
And of course, if Bynum evolves into Steve Nash/Gary Payton or a hybrid of the two, it definitely wouldn't hurt JJ's development...
Happy Dead Period between Free Agency and Training Camp everyone!