Tre Jones is too valuable for the Spurs to let him walk in Free Agency
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's not Superman, but Tre Jones is more than capable of holding down the fort until more help arrives. There's been plenty of discourse surrounding the idea of San Antonio needing an upgrade at point guard all year. Some of that feels tied to the Spurs and their opportunity to draft Scoot Henderson and Amen Thompson, as both prospects look like the kind of freakish athletes a mad scientist created in a basketball lab.
Let's face it, Tre Jones isn't gracing any comic book covers anytime soon. The other part of the chatter around the Spurs searching for a new starter at the one is also due to his lack of three-point shooting and diminutive stature. However, the 23-year-old guard provides more than enough of everything else to be a consistently positive contributor for a rebuilding team in desperate need of a ballhandler and genuine floor general.
Shooting is arguably the biggest concern for Jones, and understandably so. Much like any young player, there needs to be a period allowed for development in areas of weakness, and Jones has shown flashes of growth almost every year since entering the league. After starting this season with zero semblance of reliable shooting ability from behind the arc, Tre finished the last quarter of the year with a 40% mark from three.
While his improvement came on only two attempts per game, there was a concentrated effort from Tre to be more efficient from deep. One could argue he should have taken even more outside shots, and that's part of the journey. His numbers don't pop off the page like some of the other starting guards around the association, but even so, it's been clear that he takes command of the offense when at the helm.
Defensively there have been concerns about his size, and that's essentially where the worries stop on that end of the floor. He's a solid screen navigator, decent at the point of attack, and fine in isolation. If he were 6'3", he might be one of the better defenders in the NBA by the eye test and on paper. Unfortunately, that's not the case, and fans have to live with that. He's an adequate defender as is. And most importantly, Jones is not unplayable, which is what you're hoping for at the bare minimum.
There's been too much talk about who might take Jones' spot in the starting lineup and who San Antonio can sign as quickly as possible to do so. My question to you is, why are we in such a rush? If the Spurs happen to draft Victor Wembanyama, my argument would be: "are you not content with a pass first Guard who actively wants to initiate the offense and put your best players in the best possible position to succeed?"
Tre Jones may not be your cup of tea, but he does more than enough for a team that isn't going to pull a rabbit out of a hat at that position any time soon, outside of drafting a replacement. My advice? Let the dice roll on an elite backup point guard who you know is as steady as they come. Even when presented with starting duties, Jones showed how well he can hold his own on both sides of the ball this year.
Tre Jones is simply a glue guy. He's just one of those players you watch on the floor and think, "Yes, I'd love that type of energy on my team." He's a fantastic passer, typically makes the right play, and only makes your life easier. You're not writing home to Mom and Dad about what #33 did last night, but you rewatch the game and tell yourself, "Wow, I don't remember that." We can list the pros and cons of whether he is worth keeping around for the next few years. That list would probably surprise you, and oddly enough, I would guess Jones would too.