Jan 2, 2021; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Texas Longhorns forward Kai Jones (22) and forward Greg Brown (4) react after defeating the Kansas Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Should the Spurs Draft or Pass on Kai Jones?
Kai Jones is one of the more divisive prospects in the 2021 class. Some see him as a late first-round selection but other mock drafts have had him going higher in the late picks of the lottery. If he were available when the San Antonio Spurs were on the clock, what should they do?
Jakob Poeltl locks down the paint for the Spurs but San Antonio could use more of a scoring punch in their frontcourt. Jones showed off impressive athleticism and finishing ability during his two years at Texas but what’s really intriguing about his offensive game is his potential as a floor spacer.
Jones shot 38 percent from behind the arc as a sophomore, a noticeable improvement from the 29 percent of three-point shots he was making as a freshman. There is still room for improvement but at the very least defenses are going to have to step out and cover Jones when he gets a look from behind the arc.
But where Jones really shines is in his potential as a defender. The Spurs already have the bones of an impressive defense but they could use a more switchable frontcourt defender to fill things out. That’s where Jones comes in.
He’s got an impressive frame, standing at 6′ 11” he’s got the length to be an elite rim protector. He blocked shots on a very impressive 5 percent of the Longhorns’ defensive possessions during his time in college and showed no fear of getting dunked on. Contest enough shots and you’re going to be put on on your fair share of highlight reels getting dunked on. That didn’t stop Jones, as he regularly showed a willingness to put his body on the line in the pursuit of sending back shot attempts.
He’s likely going to take some time to develop but Jones has one of the highest ceilings of any 2021 draftee. He’s exactly the kind of high-potential player the Spurs should be looking for.
Next: No. 3