You wouldn’t believe how much time I spent on Google trying to figure out if I should refer to Tyus Jones as Mr. or Mister according to philosophizer and hobo-relic-of-the-past in Counting Crows front man What’s His Face (totally his name), but even if you did, I doubt I could find a prize worthy for such special powers. Let’s just say the number is north of a minute, way longer than any of us would want or hope for, and move on to bigger and better things. Like talking about the emergence (eh?) of one Tyus Jones. Tyus? I don’t even know knots maaaaan…
Signing as a free agent with the Grizzlies prior to the start of the 19-20 season, Jones’s ultimate fate wouldn’t change until this very last week, an unspectacular if not stable contributor as a backup point guard to Rookie of the Year Ja Morant. If Captain Obvious were to make an appearance, we’d all know the status of Morant (out 3-5 weeks) and know that Jones is most likely to benefit. And even though it’s an easy statement to make, that Jones is a solid and speculative add right now, what exactly does he bring to the table, and will his value accumulate with the newly added rotational space he now has a claim to? Those are the questions I’d like to tackle if only to pepper in a football reference for no reason other than to establish that you can use cross-sport references and still retain some measure of style and grace.
So I don’t think that table is anything to ride home about, and quite frankly probably is not really useful. If you didn’t know who or what Jones did, you’ll remain equally unimpressed when his career numbers are highlighted. He still has the suppleness of youth and currently has minutes to play around with. Already labeled a buy here at Razz late last week, the short but clear reasoning echoed what I already established, basically a TL;DR of this post thus far: he has minutes, he’s available everywhere, why not?
And while not scientific, that process really does cut at the matter. Now, before we get too carried away, there are other names that complicate matters a bit. There’s Dillon Brooks who would become the de facto scoring threat on the perimeter with Morant out, and while I don’t see him increasing his ball-handling responsibilities (he’s more of an off-the-ball player), he still could be a focus in a lot of plays on the offensive end, a negating factor for Jones. Also, in Grayson Allen, it appears the Grizzlies are happy to give him starter minutes so far, but I’m not terribly concerned. Allen’s skillset is a bit more focused on his physical talent, an energy guy who keeps tempo and pressure at both ends. Of course, De’Anthony Melton is still not cleared to play due to Covid-19.
So yes, both Brooks and Allen may complicate things for Jones, and may also represent better pick-up options in different ways, keep in mind that Jones has had a lot of experience coming in from off the bench to supplement a rotation that needs load management, or in this case, an injury to an integral teammate. And while the numbers won’t blow you away, Jones is a multiple-category contributor and may have some nights where 10-5-5 is possible, and maybe some double-doubles. For current Ja Morant owners, that’s not nothing, and for teams out there that might want to take a look, Tyus Jones might actually be something.
Jay is a longtime Razzball everything who consumes an egregious amount of Makers Mark as a vehicle to gain wisdom and augment his natural glow. Living in the D.C. area, he also likes spending time visiting the local parks and feeding lettuce to any turtles he encounters, including Mitch McConnell. You can follow him @jaywrong.