With Ja Morant out for the remainder of the playoffs with a bone bruise in his knee, Jones has been presented with the opportunity to increase his value ahead of free agency. The Memphis Grizzlies went 20-5 without Morant in the regular season, but the team’s 134-95 blowout win over the Golden State Warriors was still surprising.
Jones, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Desmond Bane all scored a game-high 21 points. Jones shot 8-of-12 from the field and 4-of-7 from the 3-point line and also contributed 9 assists and 3 rebounds in 24 minutes. And as for turnovers? He had zero, which is yet another confirmation that his ball security is the best in the NBA.
Entering Wednesday’s game, the Grizzlies were down 3-1 and if they can force a Game 7 with another win on Friday night, it’ll give the Knicks front office and fans an additional opportunity to watch Jones lead Memphis’ offense.
Tyus Jones’ success leading Memphis in Ja Morant’s absence is a good sign for the Knicks.
In the Grizzlies’ first game without Morant on Monday, Memphis lost 101-98. Jones had 19 points (8-of-18), 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 turnover.
The 26-year-old point guard averaged 12.7 points, 6.6 assists, and 3.2 rebounds in the 23 games that he started in during the regular season. The Grizzlies finished with the second-best regular season record in the NBA at 56-26.
Jones is ready to be a starter in the NBA. He’s been in the league since 2015 and has started in a combined 72 regular season games across that span. Depending on what happens in free agency, he could start in more than 72 contests in 2022-23.
New York’s fanbase may turn their nose up at the idea of Jones joining the Knicks this summer, but he’d be a valuable addition. The front office seems determined to add a new point guard to the roster during the offseason and if it’s not Brunson, it could very well be Jones.
He played under Tom Thibodeau with the Minnesota Timberwolves so the two of them already share a connection. It’s been three seasons since Jones was coached by Thibodeau and he’s developed into a new player during his time in Memphis.
The reality is that Jones isn’t going to start over Morant, and while the Grizzlies would likely love to keep the backup in Tennessee, it’d be hard for Jones to pass up a more lucrative offer as a starter with another team, such as New York.
Knicks fans will have to wait and see how things play out in terms of the point guard position, but in the meantime try to have an open mind and tune in to see Jones and Memphis play again on Friday evening.