Hornets get big man Kai Jones in NBA draft via trade. He’ll fill a major hole

·3 min read

The Hornets have been busy on draft night.

After trading for the 37th pick before the draft, the Hornets acquired the 19th pick from the New York Knicks, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The New York Knicks made the pick for the Hornets and chose former Texas forward Kai Jones.

Jones, who is a 6-foot-11, 218-pound forward/center, played two seasons at Texas, coming off the bench in most of them. He averaged 8.8 points per game and 4.8 rebounds as a sophomore, shooting 58% overall and 38% from 3-point range.

His former college coach Shaka Smart said in 2019 that Jones “has the best work ethic of any 6-11 player I have ever coached.”

Jones was also considered at No. 11. That they got him at No. 19 without giving up their 11th pick should be considered a success. Jones adds size and length to the Hornets.

With the 11th overall pick, Charlotte took guard James Bouknight from UConn.

Kai Jones has ‘super potential’

Kai Jones was one of only two draft prospects Charlotte hosted twice for pre-draft workouts, Jake Fischer with Bleacher Report tweeted.

“The Hornets were prepared to select Jones at No. 11 before James Bouknight fell,” he said.

Mike Schmitz, an NBA draft analyst who works for ESPN, tweeted that he loved what Charlotte has done so far.

“Surrounding LaMelo Ball with a springy rim runner like Kai Jones and shot creator like James Bouknight is a recipe for success,” he said. “Job well done.”

Bobby Marks, a NBA front office insider for ESPN, tweeted that the Hornets addressed a glaring hole tonight with their roster by drafting Jones and trading for Mason Plumlee.

“First, Mason Plumlee and now Kai Jones,” he said.

Dick Vitale, a ESPN basketball analyst, tweeted that Jones is a player with “super potential” and has great athleticism.

“If he focuses and develops his skills offensively he can ultimately be special,” he said. “Yes. Michael The Magnificent’s ppl made a great NBA Draft choice.”

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