SA Spurs: Can Tre Jones be the second coming of Tony Parker?

San Antonio Spurs Tre Jones
San Antonio Spurs Tre Jones / Alex Goodlett/Getty Images
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San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs Dejounte Murray, Tre Jones / Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Both Parker and Jones are good defenders

Tony Parker was a very quick pest on the defensive end. He never racked up a lot of steals and was a very underrated defender behind Duncan, the best defender of all time. He could keep his man in front of him, and while his wingspan prevented him from racking up steals, he still caused issues and forced players to give the ball up.

Tre Jones entered the 2020 Draft as a defensive specialist, receiving All-Conference honors in both seasons at Duke. In college, he amassed a ton of steals, but in the G League, he is yet to take the next step in terms of statistics. Parker never took that step, and Jones’ size may prevent him from ever doing so.

Getting steals doesn’t matter as much when your man can’t get past or shoot over you. Jones, like Parker, is an in-your-face type of defender who forces passes. Ginobili was great at intercepting passes, and so are Lonnie Walker and Dejounte Murray. Because both excel and dribbling around on the inside, they can both defend guards who slash to the hoop. Neither is an elite shot-blocker, but when a potential scorer can’t even gather the ball up to shoot, that doesn’t really matter. 

I don’t think Jones will ever make an All-Defensive team, as his stats will never get him there, and playing in small-market San Antonio doesn’t help. Parker never received All-Defensive honors but still received praise for his abilities. Stats are fun and an easy way to tell who’s good at what, but filling up a stat sheet isn’t everything. Tre Jones had the same draft profile as Parker: quick, annoying, and dangerous to dribble around. High praise for Jones, true for Parker.