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
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How does Kai Jones fit in the San Antonio Spurs' system?

Kai Jones's fit in San Antonio is one that makes sense in a multitude of aspects. First, his athletic profile and strong attributes as a rim-runner provide a dynamic that isn't provided on the Spurs as of today.

From day one, Jones will be an roll man for the plethora of pick-and-roll ball handlers like Derrick White and Dejounte Murray, while also being a sound cutter to the basket. He can contribute on or off the ball, as he can contribute from deep on low volume attempts, or he'll be an impactful presence in the paint, cleaning up the glass and making the most out of second chance opportunities.

Defensively, Jones has fantastic athleticism and length to recover strong when beat, and that can also mask some of his defensive inefficiencies as he continues to grow as a basketball player. While he might go through some growing pains as a rim-rotator and team defender, he can defend 1-5 on the perimeter for stretches, while coming off the bench.

While Jones has some limitations in his game due to being an inexperienced player, he has a strong set of attributes that can land him some valuable playing time in year one, as he develops his game on both ends as a scorer, rim protector, etc.

Tapping into his upside and maxing out his potential will all depend on Jones's ability to become a more polished player on both ends. If Jones can expand his game as a spot-up shooter and/or off the dribble, combined with a more impactful and seasoned defensive presence, the sky is the limit for Kai

Despite signing big man Jakob Poeltl last offseason, Kai Jones has significantly more upside as a scorer, defender, and transition threat. At age 20 and with just five years of basketball under his belt, he's shown immense progression in his game in such a short time frame.

While all you can do with these prospects is hope and project their future, there's a significant cause for optimism as it pertains to Kai Jones. At his core, you'll get a rim-running archetype at center that fits the bill for what you want from a center in today's NBA. At his peak, you could have a fringe top 10 center on your hands.

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Nonetheless, UT's Kai Jones makes all the sense in the world for the San Antonio Spurs at pick number 12 in the 2021 NBA Draft.