With the trade deadline just over a month away, contenders are analyzing their weaknesses and scouring the market. One name that will likely be available is Wizards point guard Tyus Jones. Washington’s rebuild has no dire need for the veteran point guard, so it’s expected that the front office will shop him for a mix of draft capital and youth. What does Jones bring to the table? Which franchises will be eager to enter trade negotiations?
Tyus Jones’ Value To Contenders
His top area is certainly playmaking. Of the 65 players with at least 100 pick-and-roll ball handler possessions, Jones leads the league at 1.2 points per pick-and-roll possession despite suiting up for the dysfunctional Wizards. Jones also ranks eighth across the NBA in points per drive out of the 157 players with at least 100 drives (via NBA.com).
In addition, he owns a monstrous 6.72 assist to turnover ratio, which paces all guards. His steady, cautious approach limits mistakes and keeps the offense running smoothly, especially in the half-court.
📊 15 PTS, 6-6 FG pic.twitter.com/rDTOwb1D46
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) December 27, 2023
The veteran is shooting 42.5 percent from deep on 3.4 attempts per game too. Although that efficiency will likely fall, it should not drastically plummet. Across the previous two seasons, Jones combined to shoot a 37.9 three-point percentage. Given his efficient outside shot and excellent playmaking, Jones’ offensive value on and off the ball is highly valuable to a contender.
Defensively, there are valid concerns due to his 6’1” frame; however, he hustles hard and understands how to position himself. Jones’ active hands have also allowed him to frequently force turnovers, as he ranks 33rd in steal percentage. While Jones will not be a defensive plus, offenses cannot hunt him off the court either.
Overall, Jones’ ability to orchestrate the offense, space the court, and compete defensively should have teams lined up to acquire him. He can be an excellent piece off the bench during the postseason, and his expiring $14M contract makes it easy for most contenders to match salaries. Plus, it inherently lowers Washington’s asking price because the market will not pay a pretty penny for a player that could walk for nothing this off-season.
Tyus Jones Landing Spots
Philadelphia 76ers: Tyrese Maxey has ascended from fringe All-Star to fringe All-NBA, and De’Anthony Melton has the passing chops to run possessions from time to time. Philadelphia’s guard rotation becomes bleak rapidly though, as Patrick Beverley is the only other ball handler on the roster.
Acquiring Tyus Jones would inject a burst of desperately needed playmaking into the second unit, thus completely enhancing its reliability come playoff time. Philadelphia’s bench half-court offense could actually be competent under Jones’ guidance, which is crucial given how deep contenders are this season. His off-ball shooting also complements Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid nicely, so Philadelphia has the option to trot out Jones next to the stars too.
Their acquisition path is crystal clear; the 76ers can send Marcus Morris Sr. and draft capital for Jones. If a bidding war erupts, then Philadelphia has the option to outbid most franchises due to their plethora of first and second rounders. Overall, Philadelphia is the most logical landing spot for the veteran point guard.
Minnesota Timberwolves: They boast the top defense in the league, but Minnesota currently ranks 17th in Offensive Rating. Their bench lacks a potent distributor that makes life easy for shooters and cutters, and the Timberwolves subsequently rank 24th in bench Offensive Rating.
With Jones at the helm, Minnesota’s second unit morphs into a dangerous lineup. He enhances Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Troy Brown Jr’s spot-up shooting, along with Kyle Anderson’s timely cutting. Naz Reid would finally have a deadly bench pick-and-roll partner too.
Overall, trading for Jones balances the team and potentially vaults them next to Denver in the top tier of the Western Conference. Unfortunately, Minnesota lacks assets due to the Rudy Gobert deal. A package featuring Shake Milton, Wendell Moore Jr, Leonard Miller, and a few second rounders is the best reasonable offer for Minnesota. Is that enough to snag Jones from other suitors? It’s possible but unlikely.