The Toronto Raptors are still trying to figure out what to do at the backup point guard position after Malachi Flynn failed to take the leap that many expected. Solving that crisis via free agency could be a genuine possibility, and Memphis Grizzlies PG Tyus Jones could be the perfect man for the job.
After bouncing around the league with Minnesota and Memphis, Jones finally stepped on the accelerator and emerged as a quality backup behind Ja Morant. When Morant went down thanks to an injury, Jones was able to keep the Grizzlies rolling thanks to his efficiency and creation.
Jones could look to cash in as a potential starter away from Memphis. However, the idea of heading back to his old role as a star reserve point guard for a team that has championship aspirations may appeal to him. Toronto might be willing to overpay for him due to their lack of a Jones-like player.
Jones is an aggressive defender and quality passer that will do a solid job of holding down the fort when Fred VanVleet is on the bench. The Grizzlies were 20-5 when Morant was unable to play, and that record would not have come to fruition without a career year from Jones.
Will the Toronto Raptors sign Tyus Jones?
Jones averaged 8.7 points and 4.4 assists per game on 45/39/82 shooting splits. On top of the fact that his offensive efficiency shows that he will improve his box score stats with more opportunity, his extreme defensive intensity could help him pull off a solid VanVleet impression.
While using Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam as a backup point guard makes for some exciting lineup combinations, the success that Toronto saw with that configuration started to dissipate in the postseason. When the situation calls for a more traditional bench general, you can’t do much better than Jones.
In his seven-year career, Jones has never averaged greater than nine points per game and has only two seasons with greater than seven points per game. Paying Jones like he’s an elite backup point guard could bite Toronto in the butt if he regresses to the mean.
Unless Flynn shows irrefutable proof that he is ready to become a star backup, bringing him back for a third season as a rotation player might not be a tenable position. Jones might cost a lot after his breakout season, but the upgrade he could provide would be well worth it.