The San Antonio Spurs hit the reset button over the summer and will likely be in the race for Victor Wembanyama in the 2023 NBA Draft. And while the Spurs may not be taking over the news in the near future as a result, there will be players who can quietly make some noise as they continue their growth on the floor. The 2022-'23 NBA season will allow those players to show their true potential.
There are, of course, some obvious picks to show significant improvement on the hardwood. Both Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell are bound to take on leadership roles in light of Dejounte Murray's departure. We have high hopes for Keldon Johnson in particular.
But another player that could show improvement is surely Tre Jones. As he enters his third season in the league, Jones will have a chance at playing more minutes, and because of the hole left behind by Murray, Jones will likely be the team's starting point guard to start the season.
Tre Jones' experience will give him an edge over the Spurs' other guards
When thinking about the Spurs, Tre Jones isn't the first person to come to mind. After all, he was a 2nd round pick in 2020 and his numbers from his first two seasons aren't exactly eye-popping. But, he has shown promise that he can hang with NBA-caliber players.
In his sophomore season with the Silver and Black, Jones averaged 6.0 points, 3.4 assists, and 2.2 rebounds, shooting over 49% from the field and a disappointing 19% from the perimeter. Looking at his stats, it's clear Jones needs to work on his outside shot.
One aspect of his role in his third season that will increase significantly is his time on the floor. Last season, the 6'1" guard only averaged 16.6 minutes on the court for the Spurs. Playing only 16 minutes isn't enough exposure for players to show significant improvements and continue to hone their game. This season, he'll surely at least be guaranteed the backup point guard role, but he'll likely start for the team early on in the season, meaning quite a bit more playing time.
Tre Jones will have more involvement as the Spurs' primary floor general. He averaged 3.4 assists on limited minutes last season. That production likely earned him many more chances to be trusted as the Spurs' lead creator and make plays for others on the floor.
It's still unclear which players will be a constant in Gregg Popovich's starting lineup, but because he'll be guaranteed at least the backup role, I think Jones will consistently see the floor for around 20-25 minutes per game this season. We've already seen flashes of it during the team's preseason games-- in last week's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Tre Jones played for 25 minutes and posted 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Predicting Tre Jones' stat line this season
Jones will get a chance to average at least 10 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds this season. I think he'll do all this while shooting under 50% from the field. Hopefully, he'll improve his outside stroke and hit at least 30-33% from the three-point area. If he can accomplish this, Jones' 2022-'23 campaign will make him a solid backup guard in the league for years to come.
As long as Tre Jones gets decent minutes on the floor, he'll shine as the new backup point guard for the Spurs at the very least. Perhaps he can ask his brother, Tyus Jones, for advice on how to shoot consistently from downtown and he'll go down a similar developmental trajectory.