Houston Rockets: 3 late-round possibilities in the 2021 NBA Draft

Adam Silver (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Adam Silver (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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Kai Jones #22 of the Texas Longhorns (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Kai Jones #22 of the Texas Longhorns (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

2. Kai Jones

NBA Comparison: Jaren Jackson Jr.

Kai Jones, the 6-foot-11 power forward/center out of the University of Texas is one of the most athletic big men in this year’s draft. Jones has elite foot speed for a big man and can finish above the rim in the paint.

With his length and speed, he can switch onto smaller guards and has the ability to stay in front of them. As you see in the below clip, Jones has elite athleticism and an improved jump shot.

Jones also has good enough ball-handling skills to beat bigger players off the dribble or beat them down the court on a fast break. The extra year at Texas helped Jones improve across the board from shooting to being a more disciplined defender.

When evaluating any big in this year’s draft, you always have to evaluate how they will fit with Christian Wood. Jones improved his 3-point shooting, but it was only on a little over one attempt per game.

Even with the low attempts, Jones improved his shooting from deep by 10 percent in his sophomore year.  Jones will have to improve his rebound rate, which was low for a player with his measurables.

Jones has a slight frame like Wood, so he will have to work on it at the next level. Jones has been projected from late lottery to possibly 15 or 16, so it isn’t a guarantee he will still be on the board, but it is a possibility.

Next: No. 1