While the 2023 NBA Draft is a few days behind us, the Sacramento Kings could be feeling the effects of the draft night for years to come. The Kings made two drastic decisions: trading away Richaun Holmes and the 24th pick and trading up to pick 34 to draft Colby Jones.
The Richaun Holmes trade freed up cap space for the Kings, allowing them to go big in free agency. While trading up for a second-round pick in Colby Jones seems like a small deal, Sacramento Kings GM Monte McNair thinks otherwise.
Monte McNair loves what he sees in rookie Colby Jones.
Not only is Colby Jones a fantastic player, but he is perfect for Sacramento’s culture. The 21-year-old SG/SF could be the steal of the draft at pick 34. After continuing to prove throughout his freshman and sophomore years at Xavier University, Jones made his mark in his junior year. He averaged 15.0 points, 4.4 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game with 51/38/65 shooting splits.
Monte McNair, while calling Colby Jones a “winner,” also said (via NBCSports):
"“He’s a smart and productive utility player, defender, two-way player, somebody we’re really excited to add to the culture that Mike [Brown], myself and the rest of us are building here.”"
While Colby Jones might not have stuck out to the teams who drafted 33 players ahead of him, he is just as talented and valuable as many of them. McNair should not expect to draft someone in the second round to fit into the starting lineup, so he took the player who fits the Kings’ culture the most.
McNair gives praise to Jones for his mentality on and off the court (via NBCSports):
"“Colby’s work ethic, the person that he is, his character – those are the types of things we like to see from guys as they improve throughout college, and they’ll continue to improve when they get in our situation.”"
Not only does Colby Jones have an impressive work ethic, but that reflects his style of play. Jones will be the first guy on the floor for a loose ball, the first guy in the air to grab a rebound, and the last guy to give up on the defensive end. McNair is impressed with what Jones brings on the defensive end (via NBCSports):
"“And then defensively, he can guard up and down [lineups] – probably not a lot of centers – but he’s strong, he’s big. He’s going to be versatile on that end. Obviously, the shooting is a big part of the NBA these days, and we like to see the growth that he showed.”"
Colby Jones is one of the more impressive two-way players in the 2023 NBA Draft, as the Kings got a steal at the 34th pick. The 6’5″ versatile guard can play and guard the 1-3 and is overall a high IQ player.
As Jones gets comfortable in the NBA, his role on the Kings will grow. Monte McNair’s praise for the rookie shows he is all-in on Jones, as they traded up for him for a reason. We are excited to get our first glimpse of Jones in a Kings jersey during Summer League, as we have high hopes for the second-round pick.