About a month ago, we wrote a full longform piece on Jones' potential and just how far away from his ceiling he really is. The consensus is that Jones is worthy of a lottery pick because that ceiling is so high. What he's athletically capable of, combined with the shooting touch he's shown and overall impact on defense, makes him a trendy lottery prospect.
Really, Jones is indicative of the conundrum outside the top-eight in this draft class. Will teams prioritize risky high-ceiling prospects who either had underwhelming freshman years (Jalen Johnson, Greg Brown, Ziaire Williams, BJ Boston), late-appearing high-ceiling prospects who showed better but are still far away (sophomore Kai Jones, sophomore James Bouknight), or the older guys who are proven positives but have less room for growth (senior Corey Kispert, junior Jared Butler, 23-year-old Davion Mitchell).
At this point, I'm not sure where I land on Jones. His ceiling will be reached not by figuring out his physical maturity and growing more skillful, but in understanding how to play. As a result, the opportunity to play through mistakes and learn by doing is paramount to gaining that IQ. The team who drafts him might be incredibly determinant on what Jones becomes, not just based on their scheme and style. He needs minutes to play through, and in the later part of the lottery where NBA teams are ambitious for climbing into the playoffs soon, those opportunities are hit-or-miss.