2021 NBA Draft mock #15: Washington Wizards: Kai Jones
The Wizards won their way into the playoffs through the play-in tournament but were eliminated in the first round by the Philadelphia 76ers. The Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook pairing hit their stride in the second half of the season, but Washington needs to continue making the playoffs if they want to keep Beal long-term. The Wizards should be searching for the best player available here.
Jones is vaulting up draft boards after measuring 6’11.5 with shoes at the combine with a nearly 7’2 wingspan and 9’2.5 standing reach. The 20-year-old needs to add mass to be able to defend in the post, but there is plenty of like about his game.
Jones played two seasons at Texas and constantly improved. He averaged 8.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks in 22.8 minutes per game as a sophomore. Jones did not start playing basketball until age 15. He is a raw talent with a ton of untapped potential.
The Wizards take their chances of sculpting him. Kai Jones could be a rim-protecting stretch five that plays a massive role in the NBA. He will need time to develop, but that is his ceiling. Washington believes they can help him reach it by selecting him 15th overall.
Next: No. 16