Warriors make surprising pick at No. 14 in ESPN mock draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The 2021 NBA Draft officially is one month away.
As we inch closer to the big day, the Warriors might be the biggest mystery of them all. Will they keep both their lottery picks? Will they trade one or both? What exactly are they looking for?
Your guess is as good as mine right now.
That’s the name of the game, though. It’s all a guess, trying to decipher what is in the brains of Bob Myers and Co.
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony is trying to do just that in his latest mock draft following the NBA Draft Combine. Givony stuck with Baylor point guard Davion Mitchell, who is seen as a safe pick for the Warriors at No. 7. But Givony has a new name for Golden State at No. 14, and it’s a bit of a surprise.
Kai Jones is the pick, moving up from No. 17 in Givony’s mock draft following the lottery.
Jones, 20, is a 6-foot-11 big man who played two seasons at Texas. As a sophomore, he averaged 8.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Jones shot 38.2 percent from 3-point range on 34 total attempts. He also only started four games after starting 10 as a freshman.
Mitchell is a win-now, high floor but low ceiling move. Jones is the opposite.
There’s no doubt that Jones has sky-high potential. He’s a great athlete for his size, he can run up and down the floor, is a versatile defender and has room to grow both offensively and defensively.
Names like Alperen Sengun, Usman Garuba, Moses Moody and Chris Duarte still were available when the Warriors were on the clock in Givony’s mock draft. All four have been connected to the Warriors at some point. They all could fit in different ways.
Jones might have the highest ceiling of them all, though. If the Warriors feel he’s further along than it seems and are keen on his athleticism and upside, this selection could end up making sense.