It’s Time to Trade Jeff Teague and Start Tyus Jones

Nov 21, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Tyus Jones (1) dribbles in the second quarter against Denver Nuggets guard Malik Beasley (25) at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
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With injuries plaguing both Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose, something has come to light with our beloved Tyus Jones.

He’s ready to start in the league.

Since Rose went out 2 games ago, Tyus has done nothing but put up historic advanced metrics. So historic that we are having trouble finding people on his level.

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The advanced stats only get better from there.

According to Fansided’s, Tyus Jones is leading the league in Assist/Turnover Ratio (6.8), Steal/Turnover Ratio (2.4), and Steal to Foul Ratio (1.4), while also ranking 5th league-wide in Steals per 48 minutes at 3.1.

This is supposed to be the type of player that Thibs is in love with but when Jeff and Derrick come back, his high efficiency will go right back to the bench where he has to scrape for minutes. Those days should be over for the Apple Valley native.

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And Tyus isn’t just statistically appealing. Watching him ball is fun. He gets in passing lanes and anticipates on defense. He has Ricky Rubio in his passing too. The Wolves would be foolish to let him get away this offseason.

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But, we all know that one of Mr. Tom Thibodeau’s drawbacks is his ability to adapt to the moment. If he is going to make such a drastic change mid-season, he might need some help. Luckily for Tom, I’m here for him.

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Step 1: Trade Jeff Teague

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As much as Thibs would like to believe it’s feasible to keep all three of our point guards, he’s wrong. If Jones is going to get the minutes he deserves, Teague needs to hit the road. As 1500 ESPN discusses in their “Raised by Wolves” podcast, Jeff just isn’t the right fit for a high-flying athletic offense. He just plays too damn slow…

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What would we get for him?

Fansided’s Dunking with Wolves has a few ideas and they are realistic with pretty good assets coming back in return.

  • BULLS: Teague + Gibson + Deng + Unprotected 1st Round Pick FOR Jabari Parker
  • SUNS: Teague + Tolliver + 2021 Unprotected 1st Round Pick FOR Josh Jackson
  • MAGIC: Teague + Gibson + 2020 2nd Round Pick FOR Terrence Ross + Khem Birch

Any trade would be better off with more players (who actually get playing time) going out than coming back in. With guys like Okogie and Tolliver already riding the bench when everyone is healthy, we’d be looking for as much value as possible for one player or a player + pick(s).

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STEP 2: Move Derrick Rose Back to Bench

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Derrick Rose has been a lot more than what anyone expected when he first came here. I can’t say he’s the guy I would have wanted to keep between him and Teague. But, he’s surprised us all.

However, he’s been his best self when coming off of the bench. He was mopping up 2nd teams all over the league before Teague went down. 

He’s been good since being moved into the starting role but allowing him to dominate the ball with the 2nd unit might be more advantageous for everyone. 

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Who knows what Tyus Jones will be as he progresses through his NBA career. What I do know, is that he’s ready to start that climb now. 

If he continues to eat his minutes on the bench when everyone is healthy, Thibs will be doing Jones, the team, the fans, and Thibs’ own career a major disservice.

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Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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