In two full Summer League games, Tre Jones has shown that he can easily be the San Antonio Spurs' backup point guard of the future. This is particularly good for recent signing Bryn Forbes, who received both positive and negative reactions when he signed for a second stint in the Silver and Black.
In terms of the kind of role Forbes will have with the Spurs, the consensus seems to be that he will receive too many minutes and won’t be utilized properly. But a pairing in the backcourt with Tre Jones may solve some issues. Forbes has become an excellent shooter over the course of his career, shooting a career 41% from deep and recording a career-high 45% from behind the arc this past season with the Bucks.
Over the course of his two years at Duke and mixed time between Austin and San Antonio last year, Jones has taken a total of 233 three-pointers. To compare, 228 is the fewest three-pointers Forbes has taken in a single full season during his career. In that same three-year span, Jones shot only 30% from deep, and most of his makes came in college rather than with the Spurs.
So, next season, the Spurs will have a sharpshooting shooting guard and a point guard who is still developing his three-point shot. Despite that, though, Jones still averaged 18 points and developed a crazy layup package. On offense, this will make for a good balance of skills between the two guards.
Looking at other parts of their game, Forbes is not known to be a good defender, rebounder, or facilitator. Thankfully, though, Jones can do it all and does it all very well. With his insane abilities and the ways he can get himself to the basket, a sniper-like Forbes will be the perfect option for Jones to kick the ball to next season.
Forbes seems to have reached his peak as an above-average shooter who doesn’t bring much else to the table. However, looks can be deceiving. Since entering the league, he has gained nearly 30 pounds. In recent pictures, he seems to have bulked up even a bit more than when he was on the Spurs. Even if he isn't the best passer, perhaps he can become an average rebounder and/or defender for his size and position. When pairing that with one of Duke’s best defensive, pass-first guards like Jones, and the Spurs’ backcourt off the bench could be in better hands than expected.
Forbes could create opportunities for Jones and the rest of the bench
If Coach Pop wants to have a small-ball approach to next season and start Murray, Walker, and White as guards while having Keldon Johnson play power forward, an unconventional albeit productive bench unit may emerge. Luka Samanic already saw a good amount of success when Jones ran point when they played together in Austin. Adding a knockdown shooter to the equation could space the floor and maximize their potential together, along with the rest of the bench unit.
While his sample size of professional play is still relatively small, in his latest Summer League games, Jones has played with a vengeance. Despite not playing competitive basketball in months, he did exceptionally well in his first two games, averaging almost 20 points and 5.5 assists. Then, in his game yesterday afternoon, he erupted for 34 points, 9 assists, and 8 rebounds in the Spurs' winning effort.
If Jones plays on San Antonio’s roster this year and stays out of Austin, he could develop into a weapon that the league is not expecting, and a duo of Jones and Forbes could be good, if not elite, surprising everyone.