By Randy Renner
Just after having an outstanding round of games at the Orlando Summer League, Thunder forward Perry Jones III underwent an arthroscopic surgical procedure on his right knee.
And now just a couple of weeks later he’s up and around , no crutches and moving pretty good at least at Tuesday’s Thunder Youth Basketball Camp.
“I’m feelin’ good,” he said. “Just taking it day by day and hopefully get back to normal soon, just trying to get stronger.”
Just getting back out on a basketball floor so soon after his knee procedure is great news for Jones and playing around with the kids at camp is medicine for the soul.
“Playing the tag game like we’ve been doing all day is probably the funnest part and I get to talk to ‘em too while we’re playing too so it’s just pretty cool.”
Jones said he wants to get back into his regular workout routine, “as soon as possible,” but he isn’t totally sure when that will be.
Jones has had some nagging injuries during his two seasons in Oklahoma City. This was his first summer league where he wasn’t held back by physical problems.
“It was a good experience since I actually got to play a full summer league,” Jones said. He averaged 12.3 points on 44.7 percent shooting overall and an outstanding 47.4 percent on 3-pointers. Jones also pulled down 5.3 rebounds a game in Orlando.
“It was great, I think I got better during summer league so it was a good experience. A lot of good came out of summer league this year. Built some good chemistry with the new guys.”
The new guys would be draft picks Mitch McGary, Josh Huestis and Semaj Christon, guys who Jones said fit right in.
“I like ‘em,” Jones told a small group of reporters. “Sometimes guys come in and it’s kinda hard to warm up to ‘em but day one they were just like family, like they’d been here the whole time. Just a great group of guys, glad we have ‘em.”
All three rookies will be involved in the Thunder training camp in October but Huestis and Christon will likely play only for the Thunder’s D-League team the 66ers. McGary will probably spend time with the 66ers and the Thunder.
The losses of Thabo Sefolosha, Caron Butler and Derek Fisher will create opportunities for young vets like Jones.
“I think there’ll be more opportunities for everybody to be honest,” he said. “All we can do is go out there and work hard and earn minutes.”
Just how many minutes will be up for grabs and how many of those minutes Jones earns will be one of the fascinating things to keep track of during training camp and the pre-season.