Minnesota Timberwolves: Tyus Jones is the Wolves’ point guard of the future

Tyus Jones of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Tyus Jones of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

With Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose out for the season with injuries, Tyus Jones has stepped up his play for the Minnesota Timberwolves, proving that he is a starting caliber point guard going forward.

With three games left in the regular season and the Minnesota Timberwolves eliminated from the playoffs, the franchise is already looking ahead to the offseason with more questions than answers.

One of the most pressing questions is who will be the team’s starting point guard going forward. Derrick Rose and Jerryd Bayless are unrestricted free agents, Jeff Teague has a player option for $19 million next season, and Tyus Jones is a restricted free agent.

Of the four veteran point guards on the roster, the Wolves would be wise to focus their attention on retaining Tyus Jones. Teague, Rose and Bayless will all be 31 at the start of next season, and Teague and Rose both have been plagued with injuries this season.

Jones has taken over the starting job with both Teague and Rose shut down, and has taken his already solid game to another level.

In his last 10 games Jones is averaging 11.1 points and 6.6 assists per game while shooting just under 40 percent from three. His numbers as the starting point guard are almost right in line with Jeff Teague’s stat line for the season.

In 42 games this season Teague averaged 12.1 points and  8.2 assists per game while shooting 42.3 percent from the field. Compare that to Jones’ 11 points and 7.1 assists per game on 45 percent shooting in 20 games as the starter.

Jones is basically mirroring what Teague has gives the team on the court for about one eighth of Teague’s salary.

Jones’ improvement will make him a target for other teams in a free agency class that includes Kyrie Irving, D’Angelo Russell, Kemba Walker and former Timberwolf Ricky Rubio.

While not quite on the level of those stars, Jones’ ability to stabilize the team will make him a hot commodity around the league this offseason. With the way he has been playing lately, the Apple Valley native is looking at the possibility of earning a contract in the ballpark of $10 million dollars per year.

The Wolves could look elsewhere for a new point guard, but sticking with Jones will likely pay off. He will only be 23 at the start of next season and has a familiarity with franchise cornerstone Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins who is locked in for the next four years.

If Minnesota decides to re-sign Jones, they will have more money to allocate elsewhere and attempt to get back on track and make the playoffs again in 2020.

Tyus Jones will never be the face of the franchise or even a high-end starting point guard, most likely, but over the last few weeks he has proven that he can be a solid starting point guard in the league for the next decade when given the opportunity.

For a team that will have a lot of questions swirling this offseason including a search for a new head coach, Jones’ recent play has made things a little bit easier for the Wolves.

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Jones has played his way into the future of the franchise, and has gone from role player to a solid contributor and a starting caliber point guard, and he should be rewarded.