Houston Rockets Mock NBA Draft 24th pick: Kai Jones
The Rockets need to find a real backup for Christian Wood and Kai Jones has the potential to be much more than just a backup. He oozes potential, which is why he might go much higher than 24th, but his inconsistency gives him serious bust potential.
Listed at 6’11, Jones has the size and length to be an above-average rim protector. He’ll need to add muscle to maximize that skill, but concern over an almost seven-foot 19-year-old being skinny is a masterclass in needless nit-picking.
Jones hit 38.2-percent of his 3-pointers last season but his below-average free throw shooting, 68.9-percent, indicates that he isn’t yet a knockdown shooter. If Jones can hit even 33-percent of his NBA threes he’ll be a valuable player and anything better could have him trending towards stardom.
For a player with as much physical potential as Jones to slip this far down in the draft, there has to be serious bust potential. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he offers next to nothing on offense and his defense isn’t elite enough to make up for it.
Jones is a perfect fit for the Rockets because he fills an immediate low-stakes need with the upside to one day be an impact player. If he never pans out that’s fine. He’s the 24th pick for a rebuilding club. To hit home runs you have to be okay with a few swings and misses. Kai Jones is the type of swing that the Rockets should be taking as they enter their rebuild.