In an ideal world, I wouldn't be writing this article. I am not on team Trade Tre. In fact, I am the proud owner of a Tre Jones jersey, the president of his fan club, and an ardent supporter of the idea that he will one day be as good as Tony Parker. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.
Even if Jones never plays another game in the NBA, I think his career is a marked success. There’s no reason to think that he won’t have a long and successful career, but as a 41st overall pick who only played in 37 games his rookie season, I would say that he has exceeded expectations. Aside from Nikola Jokic, no 41st overall pick has ever made an All-Star Game, and in just three seasons, Jones is 13th in win shares among players drafted in the same spot.
Tre Jones is a legit future piece for San Antonio
But at the end of the day, Jones is an above-average point guard. He is one of six players to average at least 10 points, five assists, three rebounds, a steal, and under two turnovers. The others? Chris Paul, Jalen Brunson, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jimmy Butler, and FredVanVleet. Jones is easily the youngest, and I doubt that anyone would value those guys at less than an unprotected first-round pick.
After this season, Jones will be due for a large contract extension, and I think the Spurs will give it to him. He’s young and is perhaps the most consistent player on the roster. He could easily be a starting point guard for a good team, playing as the primary playmaker and fourth scoring option, or he could be the first man off the bench and lead the second unit like fans wanted to see from Lonnie Walker IV.
What should the asking price be for Tre Jones?
Jones is once again near the top of the league in assist-to-turnover ratio, sitting at 11th. Last year, he was second only to his brother. At only 23 years old and a steady player, I think the Spurs should not trade him, but if they do, ask for two firsts, with protections on only one of them.
It’s not often that a 23-year-old manages to run an offense and orchestrate a set offense or a fast break with minimal risk of turnover, and his emergence as an elite perimeter defender makes up for his lack of scoring and shot depth. He looks more willing to shoot the ball this season, but shots just aren’t falling.
There are no reports that the Spurs are shopping him around or that teams think he is available, but unless the Spurs are offered multiple picks, Jones should be here to stay.