Re-drafting the 2021 NBA Draft

Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes, NBA Draft (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes, NBA Draft (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /
9 of 30
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

84. . SF. Sacramento Kings. Herbert Jones. 9. player

Re-drafting the 2021 NBA Draft — 9. Herbert Jones, Kings

Herbert Jones would make second team All-Defense if my vote was the law of the land. He proved his mettle in the postseason, giving Phoenix’s star backcourt all it could handle across six competitive games in the first round. Jones is already an elite, multi-positional defender in the NBA. That’s rare for any rookie, especially one selected in the second round.

There’s no way Jones slips out of the lottery the second time around. Sacramento is a franchise in desperate need of direction and identity. Jones is no offensive superstar — in fact, his lack of offensive skill set is what’s holding him back from top-8 status — but the Kings could use an absolute game-breaker on the defensive end. Jones sets the tone with his play every night and the Kings would benefit greatly from a player with Jones’ exuberance and nightly impact.

Jones can wreak havoc in space, or he can shut down the opponents’ best scorer one-on-one. He’s probably going to be the Defensive Player of the Year conversation at some point, and it’s not like he’s completely inept on the offensive end — he shot 33.7 percent from deep, 47.6 percent from the field, and fit well within the Pelicans’ selfless offensive setup.