San Antonio Spurs Draft

Spurs NBA Draft: Kai Jones provides an answer at center

Kai Jones
Kai Jones / John E. Moore III/Getty Images
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San Antonio Spurs
Kai Jones / Chris Covatta/Getty Images

Kai Jones's rebounding and defense

As a rebounder, Jones is polished. His two offensive rebounds per game placed him among the elite in college basketball, and his overall rebounding percentage placed him in the better half.

He placed in the 68th percentile in defensive rebounds but had a total rebound percentage of 11.8, which ranks him 12th in his conference. Keep in mind, Jones was UT's sixth man. While playing over 20 minutes per night, he came off the bench for over 85 percent of his collegiate career.

Defensively, Jones has a ways to go as a team defender. Due to his experience as a basketball player being light, he sometimes puts himself in losing positions in the post. At times, he's also late on rotations to protect the rim, has found himself in foul trouble early, and relies on his athleticism over technique a bit too often.

These are surely things that can be fixed with coaching, but as of today, his best ability as a defender is his willing activity. Jones isn't a lazy defender, nor is he one that isn't engaged.

He's shown a great deal of competence as a perimeter defender who recovers very well when beat and can make a recovery block with ease. He had some intriguing defensive possessions against Oklahoma State star Cade Cunningham, one of which ended in a swat into the stands from Jones.

Jones is a strong rim protector when in position, as he averaged nearly one block per game, and he's also very active with his hands and in passing lanes. He had a "Hakeem percentage" (the sum of a players block and steal percentage) of 6.4 percent, which ranks in the 88th percentile.

Jones may be raw when it comes to team defense, but individually, he could bring San Antonio some needed versatility on the perimeter and can be a stout rim protector once he gets some seasoning in the NBA.

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