The 2020-21 SEC Player and Defensive Player of the Year with the Crimson Tide, Jones was selected 35th overall in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans, and quickly began to make his mark through strong showings in the Summer League and Preseason.
Entering the 2021-22 season with the Pelicans, Jones was expected to be a member of the New Orleans nightly rotation, but the 23-year-old rookie has jumpstarted his young NBA career with an impressive first three months.
Former Alabama Basketball star Herbert Jones impressing in rookie NBA season
Coming off the bench in his first game, Jones would draw a start for New Orleans in each game for the remainder of the month of October, averaging 5.7 PPG during that span on 25.1 MPG (six starts in seven games).
Transitioning to more of a bench role to begin the month of November, Jones would still see significant minutes for the Pelicans averaging 24+ MPG across his next nine games. Adding a then career-high 17 points during that stretch back on November 13 against the Grizzlies, Jones would return to the Pelicans starting lineup on November 24 to set up what has been a phenomenal month of December for the rookie.
Starting in all 12 of New Orleans’ games during December, Jones averaged a combined 10.8 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2 APG, and 1.5 BPG on 30.9 MPG, while also shooting an impressive 47.5%/41.7%/79.3%. Not only has Jones scored in double-figures in exactly half of those 12 games in December, but he also added a new career-high 26 points in his most recent game on December 28 against Cleveland.
For the 2021-22 season overall, Jones is averaging 8 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.3 SPG, and 1 BPG across his first 32 games (23 starts) up to this point, while shooting 47.6% from the field and 36.6% from three.
Approaching the mid-way point of the 2021-22 NBA campaign, it has already been an impressive rookie season for the former Alabama Basketball great, one that is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.