As the February trade deadline nears, rumors begin to spread throughout the NBA like wildfire, and this year is no different. Plenty of rumors and reports continue to arise daily, separating teams into two groups, the buyers and the sellers.
Contending teams, such as the Minnesota Timberwolves, fall into "the buyers" basket. With a Western Conference-leading 30-11 record, the trade deadline is the perfect opportunity to bolster the second unit and add an impact veteran.
On Tuesday, Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus also grouped Minnesota in the buyer's category. It's been rumored that the Timberwolves are looking for guard help, and former Timberwolves' first-round draft pick, Tyus Jones, has been a name to monitor.
Jones's current squad, the Washington Wizards, are rightfully deemed as sellers. The Wizards rank as the second-worst team in the Eastern Conference, with a 7-33 record. Jones's contract situation and playstyle make him an ideal trade candidate.
The 27-year-old guard is playing on the final season of the 2-year, $30 million pact he signed with the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2022 offseason. After being acquired via trade in the offseason, it's unlikely Jones will re-sign with Washington. The Wizards are a rebuilding squad with a dearth of quality assets to compete for a playoff spot anytime soon.
After typically slotting in the mid-lottery in recent seasons, it has appeared that the Wizards are embracing a full-on rebuild. Rather than taking their chances with a late lottery pick, Washington seems to be prioritizing a top-three selection.
A player like Jones doesn't fit a rebuilding timeline. The former Timberwolf is as steady as they come. Although he's started every game this season, he's best suited as a lead guard off the bench. Jones is averaging 12.8 points and 5.6 assists per game this season.
His averages don't provide a "wow factor," but his efficiency certainly does. The Wizards guard is shooting 52.1 percent from the floor and 42.0 percent from downtown. And perhaps most importantly, he's averaging only 0.8 turnovers per game.
Jones leads the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio with a dazzling 6.6-to-1 mark. His steady play is likely what Minnesota covets. Despite the Timberwolves starting point guard, Mike Conley, only averaging 1.1 giveaways per game, Minnesota ranks third-to-last in the league in turnovers.
Minnesota lacks a reliable lead guard behind the 36-year-old Conley. Shake Milton and Jordan McLaughlin remain on the roster, but neither player has been a consistent contributor. Jones fits Minnesota's need for a reserve playmaker.
The Duke product is also a pretty good starter. Besides this season, Jones has started for Minnesota and Memphis in the past. He filled in admirably as a spot starter for both squads. In 22 starts for the Grizzlies in 2022-23, Jones averaged 16.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 8.1 assists.
If the Wolves decide to rest Conley, or if he misses games due to injury, Jones would offer the Timberwolves a reliable starter. His steadiness, playmaking, and efficiency make him a valuable trade target.
For all the latest on the Timberwolves' trade rumors, be sure to stay tuned.