San Antonio Spurs: Is Kai Jones' dropping stock a red flag?

Kai Jones
Kai Jones / Chris Covatta/Getty Images
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San Antonio Spurs
Kai Jones / Chris Covatta/Getty Images

Should Kai Jones still be on the San Antonio Spurs' radar?

There's a lot to love about taking a chance on Kai Jones for the upcoming season. With what should be one of the youngest teams in the league, he would be a perfect boost when it comes to getting out in transition for easy buckets. His energy and hustle would also fit well with guys like Keldon Johnson and Lonnie Walker, who feed off of that kind of charge.

UT Coach Shaka Smart also said Kai had the best work ethic of any big man he's ever coached when he was just a rookie. A combination of that kind of energy plus the desire to improve can go along way in the league, especially under a guy like Gregg Popovich.

Now let's get to why there are some concerns about using the 12th pick on Kai Jones. For someone who stands at 6-11, Jones could stand to improve with his rebounding. To do that, he also needs to put on a significant amount of muscle to be able to battle with the Jonas Valanciunas's of the world down low.

Kai also will need a lot of work with halfcourt sets on both ends of the floor. Right now, his offense seems to mostly come from transition or semi-transition opportunities. Defensively, he's shown potential but could stand to be more disciplined when it comes to fouling.

Personally, I can't say in good conscience that Kai needs to be removed from the Spurs' radar completely. There's so much that he offers that the team needs now. That said, it would take some time to get him where he needs to be, and how much time do the Spurs have?

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While Kai isn't my top choice at 12 -- that would go to someone like Usman Garuba if available -- his work ethic plus raw talent tell me it wouldn't be wise to count him out as an option altogether. If guys like Garuba, Alperen Sengun, and Keon Johnson are all gone by the time the Spurs are on the clock, they could do much worse than Kai.