Texas Longhorns Sports

ESPN Draft Writer Checking Out Texas Longhorns F Kai Jones

NCAA Basketball: Texas at Kansas

Texas Longhorns forward Kai Jones is getting some attention in NBA Mock Drafts. And today ESPN.com’s Mike Schmitz is in Stillwater, Oklahoma, to check him out.

Schmitz wrote a recent NBA Mock Draft piece that had Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham as the projected No. 1 overall pick. Well, Schmitz also had Jones, the 6-foot-11 sophomore for the Longhorns in the mock at No. 16, going to the Indiana Pacers.

Jones has the kind of length that NBA scouts are looking for. His offensive numbers are up significantly from a year ago. And, as Schmitz pointed out from Stillwater, Jones’ 3-point percentage is going to make NBA scouts a little envious.


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Jones appears to be following a similar track to Jaxson Hayes, who two years ago started the season as a relatively unknown quantity for the Longhorns, only to rise up draft boards as the Longhorns made a run to the NIT Championship. Hayes declared early for the NBA Draft after the title run and ended up as a lottery pick, taken No. 7 overall to Atlanta. He is now in New Orleans.

Jones could be one of a pair of young players that could leave the Longhorns early. Greg Brown, the 6-foot-9 freshman forward, came to Texas as the No. 9 recruit in the 2020 Class, and he’s been in many NBA mock drafts this year. Many expect him to declare for the draft after the season, and Brown was a part of Schmitz’s mock draft, going No. 23 overall to the Boston Celtics.

Three other Big 12 players were in Schmitz’s mock draft — Texas Tech guard/forward Terrence Shannon Jr., Baylor guard Jared Butler and Baylor guard Davion Mitchell.

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