Does a Tyus Jones Homecoming Make Sense for Timberwolves?

Tyus Jones
Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves need to consider future point guard help with Mike Conley only getting older. They addressed the position through the 2024 NBA Draft, with Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham, but they’d like to add more proven depth, after Monte Morris signed with Phoenix.

We’ve already written about why the return of Ricky Rubio makes a lot of sense… but what about another familiar PG face? Because Apple Valley’s own, Tyus Jones, is still on the open market as well.

Tyus Jones back to the Minnesota Timberwolves?

Considering possible landing spots that would remove Jones from Washington, Jack Simone at the Washington Wizards Fansided site “Wiz of Awes” wrote about possible landing spots for last year’s Wizards players, turned free agents, and pegged Minnesota as the most likely destination for Tyus Jones.

Jones should be looking for more than a minimum contract, but if it comes down to the end of free agency and he still doesn’t have a deal, the Minnesota Timberwolves would be a great landing spot.

Minnesota just lost Monte Morris in free agency, and Mike Conley is only getting older. Bringing Jones into the fold would help them right away and could give them a longer-term answer at the one alongside rookie Rob Dillingham.

Jack Simone – Wiz of Awes

Tyus Jones is one of the most successful basketball players Minnesota has ever produced. Originally drafted out of Duke, by his hometown Timberwolves, Tyus played the first four seasons of his NBA career at Target Center, just 20 minutes away from where he grew up (depending on traffic).

Tyus Jones was good in Washington

Jones signed with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2019, where he played four more years, before leaving them via free agency, and signing a one-year deal with the Washington Wizards last offseason. In DC, Tyus got starting minutes (29.3 MPG) for the first time in his career.

As a result, he averaged career highs in just about every statistical category, including points (12.0), assists (7.3) and rebounds (2.7). Still, those numbers don’t jump out as a sure-fire starter, by any means.

His return would be a fun full circle moment… but does it make sense? Not if Tyus wants to be paid what he is worth. As everyone knows (including the above Wizards writer), Minnesota’s salary cap and luxury tax situation is not good. The only way a homecoming for Jones would work is through a minimum contract.

Related: Could Ricky Rubio Return to Minnesota Timberwolves?

Simone is aware that any deal with MN would have to be a veteran minimum, which he admits is the hardest part about his proposed reunion. But as he notes in the article, nothing is stopping other teams from signing Tyus Jones right now… and yet there he sits, still waiting for the right suitor to come along.

Would Tyus Jones take a back seat and less pay to return home?

So, could he take a 1-year prove-it minimum contract with his hometown team, to try and end the Minnesota sports curse he knows all too much about? Simone thinks so…

It would be somewhat shocking to see Jones need to settle for a minimum contract. Last season, at the deadline, Jones was one name floating around that the Timberwolves were interested in trading for. Instead, they landed Morris, whose cost was a bit lower.

Related: NBA Insider Reveals Interesting Timberwolves Free Agent Targets… but Money is a Problem

It seems unlikely a 28-year-old, who started all of last season and should be in the prime of his career, would drop down to veteran minimum salary level, in order to join the Wolves roster, no matter how close the ties are or how much difficulty he is having in free agency. But… crazier things have happened.

The Timberwolves are hardly the same franchise they were last time Jones was here. He could be another piece that helps the club chase down a championship ring. He ‘d be another great mentor to help bring Dillingham along, and he’d provide probably the best possible insurance on the market, should a 37-year-old Mike Conley miss any extended periods of time in 2024-25.

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