If Texas Longhorns Kai Jones and Greg Brown declare for the 2021 NBA Draft, CBSSports.com writer Kyle Boone believes both will be first-round picks.
Boone provided the logic in his second NBA Mock Draft, published Feb. 25. Brown was a holdover from Boone’s first mock draft, which came out before the NBA season began. Jones is one of the fastest-rising players on NBA Draft boards.
Brown, a 6-foot-9 freshman who came to Texas as one of the top overall recruits in nation in 2020, is averaging 10.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game this season. In Boone’s first mock draft, he had Brown slotted as a lottery pick at No. 12. In this mock, Boone has Brown falling to Toronto at No. 22. Boone wrote that Brown is still a raw prospect, but that he could see Toronto ‘really making something out of Brown given all his physical tools and potential.’
Jones, meanwhile, wasn’t in Boone’s initial mock. In fact, Jones would have been hard to find in any mock drafts just a month ago. But, thanks to what Boone refers to as a ‘dearth of big men’ in this draft, along with Jones’ 6-foot-11 frame and athleticism, the sophomore is making the kind of rise that Jaxson Hayes made two years ago as a freshman. Hayes was taken in the NBA Draft Lottery.
Jones isn’t a lottery pick yet, according to Boone, but he’s close. Jones went No. 15 to the Charlotte Hornets, calling Jones an ‘athletic marvel with leaping ability to finish lobs and swat shots around the rim with ease.’ Jones is averaging 8.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
The NBA Draft is set for Nov. 18.
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Matthew Postins is an award-winning sports journalist who covers Longhorns in the Pros for Longhorn Country on FanNation.com and SINow. He also writes for CowboyMaven and DallasBasketball.com, covers the Big 12 for HeartlandCollegeSports.com and is the Editor of the College Football America Yearbook. Have a story idea about a former Longhorn now in the professional ranks? Contact Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.