San Antonio Spurs: 2021 NBA Draft Big Board 2.0
San Antonio Spurs NBA Draft Big Board: Players 6 and 5
6. Kai Jones - PF/Center, Texas
Kai Jones probably has the highest "boom-or-bust" potential out of every player near the top of this big board. While he played most of his minutes coming off the bench for Texas, what he was able to do on the court was intriguing enough for teams to take a serious look at him in the lottery. Standing at 6-11, Jones is a superb athlete, has above-average shooting numbers for his size despite being on low volume, and has upside as a rim protector and switchable defender on the other end of the floor.
While there are several promising signs that Jones could be very good in the future, he's very raw. He only began playing organized basketball at 15 years old, and while he's come a long way in that short time, his IQ, decision-making, and court awareness show that inexperience.
While I have a lot of trust in the Spurs' development of young players, Jones would be the biggest project of every player in the top ten of this big board. If he develops well, though, the payoff could be massive. The Spurs may not mind taking on such a project though, as news broke recently that he had a pre-draft interview with the Spurs.
5. Jonathan Kuminga - Wing, G-League Ignite
Jonathan Kuminga is an uber-athletic wing that, while still pretty raw, is one of the youngest players in his class and has the tools to become an All-NBA quality player. On offense, he already has a decent mid-range game and has the ability to finish up top. If his outside shooting develops well, he'll be a scary three-level scoring threat. For the Spurs, he could quickly become one of their best scorers, should rebound the ball well, and will fill a position of need on defense.
For now, though, Kuminga is a bit predictable on the offensive end of the floor because of his lack of outside shooting. As one of the younger players in the draft, he will also need to learn to take better care of the ball and take smarter shots so as to improve his pretty abysmal efficiency. These are all fixable issues though that are common in young players.
With that in mind, Kuminga's G-League Ignite coach, Brian Shaw, had notably high praise for him, going so far as to compare him to Jaylen Brown.