The Sacramento Kings traded up in the second round for the rights to Colby Jones, according to the Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Celtics are trading Colby Jones to the Kings for No. 38 and a future second rounder, sources said. https://t.co/YIIMaQyl3d
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 23, 2023
The Kings gave up the 38th pick and a future second rounder to move up four spots.
Our Draft expert Bryant West had Jones 28th on his Kings-centric big board:
28. Colby Jones, Wing, Xavier, 21 years old, 6’6
Jones is a two-way floor riser who will fit on any good team. Jones had an excellent balance between scorer and playmaker for an offensively-balanced Xavier team, and had a massive jump in deep shot and catch-and-shoot shot success this year. He’s also a quick, tough defender who handled a range of guards and forwards, and always has his head up looking to jump passing lanes. His on-ball creation is a concern, but as a role player Jones will help any team that snags him. Will end up a more meaningful NBA player than some of the gambles I have ranked above him.
A two-way wing player is exactly the type of player the Kings need, and the cost is very reasonable. This seems like a great trade for the Kings.
Additional analysis from Bryant:
The Kings just snagged one of the better, more versatile role-playing wings in this draft range.
6’6 in shoes, 6’8 wingspan
Jones is a talented two-way player with a strong combination of dribble, pass, shoot skills on offense, and strong awareness and physicality on defense.
The Musketeers had one of the best half-court offenses in the country, and Jones initiated the offense as much as anyone, reads the floor well, and can play on and off the ball with no issue. I think that’s a big strength of his game, you can expect he’s going to quickly make the right play on offense. Colby’s ability to operate as a playmaker and as a two-level scorer was a big part of that team’s success.
He’s also made big improvements as a shooter over his time at Xavier, 37.8% from deep on 119 attempts this year. Shot 42.5% on all catch-and-shoot shots, 43% on catch-and-shoot 3s. If you trust in that volume, I think he’ll be a very good scorer in a range of lineups who can also serve as a secondary playmaker.
And on the defensive end, he’s regularly handled smaller guards and bigger wings at a high level. He’s a quick defender, but also is willing to stand up when guys try and muscle through him. He rotates well when he’s not guarding the ball, gets around screens, and always seems to be keeping his head up looking to jump a passing lane.
Most importantly, the Kings seem to gravitate towards smart, high-instinct players, a label Jones absolutely deserves.
Averaged 1.4 steals across his whole Xavier career. At 6’6, 200 lbs, that’s a valuable defensive player for any team. I don’t know that I want him guarding the De’Aaron Foxes of the world, he’s not quite THAT quick, but he’ll help any team improve their perimeter defense, Sacramento included.
It is concerning that, despite having such a promising shooting season from deep, he did just shoot 65.3% from the line this year, and 67.9% from the line in his three years at Xavier.
I will say that, the FT% is what scares me, because if both his 3P and FT numbers increased, that would be one thing. Two years ago, Keegan Murray shot 29% from three. We all know how that went. Sometimes, if a good shooter shows themselves, you have to trust them. Conversely, in his last year at Baylor, Davion Mitchell shot 44.7% from three and everyone tried convincing ourselves that he was a good shooter, that we could ignore his 64.1% from the free throw line numbers. So, it’s possible that we’re overhyping Jones’ shooting after one good year.
I do worry about his on-ball scoring upside. As a part of a whole, I think he’ll make any team better, but there were some games—I’m thinking most heavily of the Xavier/Marquette matchup—where the Musketeers went cold, and Jones couldn’t create any offense of his own. Now, he was being guarded by OMax, but that does say something when an NBA-level defender, specifically a bigger wing, can hold you to 3 of 11 shooting. I don’t specifically know what he’ll do to create his own shot. He’s got a nasty runner when he gets into the paint, and I don’t want to undersell his touch at the basket, he shot 66% at the rim in the half court. But he was also just 19 of 70, 27.1%, on dribble jumpers this year. If you’re looking for self creator, look elsewhere.
Welcome to Sacramento, Colby!