The 2021 NBA Draft will be an important event for teams to build for their future. Here is the Kai Jones 2021 NBA Draft Profile.
Kai Jones Background
Size: 6-foot-11, 218 pounds
2020-2021 stats: 8.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.9 blocks, 0.8 steals, 58% FG, 38.2% 3PT, 68.9% FT
While he only started 14 out of his 53 career games in his college career, Jones has made himself into an NBA Draft prospect. He will be picked before plenty of players with more starting experience.
Jones was a four-star recruit out of New Hampshire who chose to join Shaka Smart’s team at Texas. As a freshman, Jones averaged 3.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. The Longhorns went 19-12 before the season was ended due to COVID-19. Last season, Jones improved to average 8.8 points and 4.8 rebounds. Texas went 19-8, which was good enough for them to earn a no. 3 seed, but they were upset by Abilene Christian.
Although he isn’t the scorer that some of the other top prospects are, Jones is a solid prospect. He is currently projected to be a lottery pick.
Jones has good size at 6-foot-11 and 218 pounds. He has good length as well. Jones will need to add some strength to his frame, but he looks like he has a body that will allow him to do so. In a thin draft for big men, Jones stands out. His size can be an even bigger tool now that NBA teams are going smaller.
He has good body control and athleticism. Jones can be seen going up high for alley-oops and bringing the ball down hard. Jones also can dribble decently for a player of his size and even led some fast-breaks at Texas. His movement abilities for a player of his size make him a unique player. This also helps him rebound, as he can go chase down the ball wherever it may land and he has the jumping ability to go get the ball in the air.
His 3-point shooting allows him to stretch the floor and be a mismatch problem. He shot 38.2 percent from 3-point range last season, making him one of the better shooters for a big man. Jones has solid form and mainly does well shooting off the catch. This could allow him to stay on the floor for longer periods of time than most big men.
Experience and production will be two things that Jones does not have a lot of in comparison to the rest of the class. As mentioned, he only started 14 games over two years. Last season he only averaged 22.9 minutes per game. His per 40 minute numbers look better, but Jones has never had to play a lot of minutes or been the go-to-guy on his team. Jones needs to add more moves to his offensive game in the post, otherwise offense will always have to be created for him.
For a player of his size and athleticism, Jones is not a great shot-blocker. His defensive awareness and timing could be a lot better to help him in this area. He averaged just 1.6 blocks per 40 minutes in college basketball. Most early first round prospects that are big men either have a knack for rim protecting or scoring, which Jones doesn’t have.
Jones could do a better job rebounding as well. With his measurables and athleticism, Jones could be a good rebounder, but he averaged less than 10 rebounds per 40 minutes. In order to improve in this area, Jones needs to go back to fundamentals and work on boxing out then using his jumping ability to go get it. He also could improve on reading how the ball is going to bounce off the rim to be more productive in this area.
Projected Draft Range: Lottery Pick
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