Tyus Jones has had a career year in just about every aspect of the game this season. He certainly would've been one of the heroes in a Ja Morant-less Game 4 win Monday night if Dillon Brooks didn't decide to shoot the Grizzlies out of the ballgame. Now suddenly finding his team down 3-1, Tyus is likely only a few days away from officially hitting free agency.
"It’s going to be very interesting to watch the negotiations play out between Jones and Memphis. But, ultimately it may come down to what kind of path Jones wants to take for the next chapter of his NBA career," said Jacob Ellerbee at Beale Street Bears a couple of months ago.
Jones is in the final season of a three-year, $26.44 million deal with Memphis and made $7.52 million this year. Given his improvement, he'll likely draw more than that in any negotiations with the Grizzlies, but would that even matter if he decides he wants a bigger role on a team next season?
"It’s not unrealistic to think Tyus Jones could command a contract somewhere in the vicinity of $13 million over four or five seasons," continued Ellerbee. The question that arises, then, is should the Spurs be willing to shell an amount like that to the older Jones brother this offseason?
Does Tyus Jones make sense in San Antonio?
On paper, Tyus is very much a Spurs-like player. He looks to get others involved while also being extremely smart with the basketball. In fact, his assist-to-turnover ratio of 6.3 was the top mark in the league by far last season, with his brother Tre's 5.1 coming in second for San Antonio.
On top of taking care of the ball, Jones also comes off his best 3-point shooting season ever, burying 39% of his treys on a career-high 2.8 attempts per game.
Tyus is certainly the more talented scorer of the brothers, and he appears ready to be a starting point guard in the league -- which is why him going to San Antonio wouldn't make a lot of sense.
If Jones wants to be on a contending team, he's already found his spot in Memphis, which appears on a trajectory toward title contention in the near future. If he's ready for a bigger role, a team loaded with guards is an unlikely answer. Dejounte Murray will be the Spurs' starting point guard for the foreseeable future and Tre Jones needs more time to solidify his spot as a backup.
Beyond Dejounte and Tre, Josh Primo is another guard likely to stick around San Antonio for a long time. There's certainly a need for what Tyus has to offer, but it wouldn't take precedence over what the Spurs are trying to develop in the next couple of years.
Tre's older brother deserves a decent payday this summer, it just won't make sense for either side for the Spurs to be the ones giving it to him.