Timberwolves Should Save Tyus Jones from Wizards Dumpster Fire

NBA: Washington Wizards at Brooklyn Nets
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Tyus Jones is Minnesota born and raised and he’s used to playing for winners. In high school, he won multiple state championships with Apple Valley. At Duke, he won a National Title. This year, he’s playing for the Washington Wizards, who are 3-19 and clearly tanking for more ping pong balls, come lottery season.

Tyus Jones having a career season

But now, Tyus is blossoming into his NBA prime at 27 years old and playing some of the best basketball of his career. He’s started 22 games and he’s averaging a career high in points and rebounds. Part of that is his usage being by far the highest of his career.

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Yet, Jones still has a better FG%, eFG% than ever before. The biggest problem? He’s doing all this on one of the worst teams in the league, the Washington Wizards. Turnovers? Tyus doesn’t make them.

With the increased minutes, however, Jones’ turnovers per game have doubled and now sit at a whopping 0.8 per game, way up from the 0.4 he averaged the last three seasons.

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Tyus starting his NBA career with his and our favorite NBA team, his home state Timberwolves. And they were mostly terrible for three of the four seasons he wore a Wolves uniform, from 2015-2019. Still, he’s played in 27 career playoff games, including four with Minnesota during the Jimmy Butler era.

Minnesota Timberwolves could use some PG help

Fast Forward a half-decade or so and the Minnesota Timberwolves are the best team in the Western Conference. There’s nothing they really “need” at the trade deadline. But, if there is one position they’d upgrade if given the opportunity, it’s backup point guard.

Since acquiring Mike Conley, the Wolves have been a completely different team. A much better, more mature and complete team; both on the court and in the locker room. But Mike is deep into his 30’s now and Minnesota really doesn’t have a true point guard behind him.

Kyle Anderson, Anthony Edwards, Shake Milton and Nickeil Alexander-Walker can all run the point, but that’s gotten the Timberwolves in trouble throughout the season. Jordan McLaughlin once showed promise but he’s been injured most of the season and somewhat disappointing when healthy.

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So, Conley has been forced to remain around his 30 minutes per game career average, which is not the type of usage strain Chris Finch and the Wolves organization were hoping to put on the 18-year NBA vet.

Wolves like Tyus and he fits exactly what they lack

Enter Tyus Jones, who every team in the league who is looking for help at point guard currently has their eyes on, including the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have been interested in Jones going all the way back to last summer. On Tuesday, he talked about Tyus to Minnesota yet again. From the sounds of it, Jones’ camp is interested too.

“I was just texting with somebody who knows Tyus Jones real well. Tyus is rotting away in Washington, only played 20 minutes last night. [The Wizards] lose by 45 points to the 76ers. This Wolves regime likes Tyus. I don’t know what exactly the match would look like.

Washington will get multiple offers for Tyus. They have to trade him. I know he enjoys starting but he’s rotting away there in DC. So I just wonder, as trade season is about to ramp up at the end of this week. As guys like Shake Milton… guys that signed in the summer, become trade eligible, how can the wolves tweak this roster?”

Darren Wolfson – Mackey And Judd (SKOR North)

This isn’t just my Minnesota bias coming out for a fellow Minnesotan. Tyus Jones would fit what the Wolves need so perfectly. He’s a ball-handling point guard to run the 2nd unit efficiently who also offers a near-equal PG replacement to run with the starters in spurts so Conley can get more rest down the stretch.

Trading for Jones almost makes too much sense for the Wolves. We’ve already mentioned his growing up in the Twin Cities area and the fact that he’s already played four seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves organization. But don’t forget, Jones played with Mike Conley for multiple seasons in Memphis, too.

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Want another sneaky reason why it would be a really smart move for President of Basketball Ops, Tim Connelly to acquire Tyus? If the Timberwolves make the move first, others in the West can’t… including teams like the Los Angeles Lakers.

Wolves should trade for Tyus Jones so others can’t

Sure, the 2023-24 Lakers aren’t going to compete with Minnesota for a regular season Western Conference title, since LeBron goes into regular season cruise control to rest his body as much as possible and Anthony Davis’ play fluctuates throughout an 82-game stretch. But they won the play-in tournament and LeBron showed the world he’s still LeBron.

The Lakers’ biggest issue, whether D’Angelo Russell stans believe it or not, is PG play. That’s why Lakers fans on social media are calling for a trade that would bring Tyus to LA in hopes he can fill that gaping hole in their lineup.

If that were to happen, the Lakers would become even more dangerous, come spring. As Wolfson noted, the Lakers aren’t the NBA Finals contender that will have interest in Tyus.

The Wolves need to start thinking like a Western Conference champion. They may have an opportunity here that would allow them to fix a weakness in their lineup while also keeping a top West rival from doing the same.

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And that’s a move seriously worth contemplating. So what do you say, Tim Connelly? Go make yourself a local hero for the next couple weeks by bringing Tyus Jones home. Not only would you earn brownie points all around town, but you’d be making one hell of a basketball decision too.

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