If you've been around San Antonio Spurs fan circles recently, the odds are you've run into many a Kai Jones fan. It's easy to understand why: he's an athletic big with explosive leaping ability, which all sounds like exactly what this team needs. Plus, he's a Texas guy.
Still, the rawness of the 20-year-old's game is rightfully a concern. He didn't start playing until later in life, and that can sometimes be evident on the court. As Kevin O'Connor notes in his NBA Big Board, Kai's decision-making needs a lot of work, which is a direct result of simply not having enough experience.
"The team that drafts him will need to make a major investment in him," says O'Connor. Given the learning curve Kai will need to overcome to stand out in the NBA, patience will be the key work when it comes to taking a chance on him.
When I look around at assessments of Kai Jones from major media outlets, college basketball scouts, and draft experts, many of the same keywords come up. Potential. Energy. Raw. Flashes. Gamble.
With only one week until the 2021 NBA Draft, it's time to get to the bottom of it all. Is Kai Jones worth the gamble for the San Antonio Spurs? Let's first dive into the kind of projections he's getting from major outlets ahead of the big night.