Wizards’ Summer League struggles show why Tyus Jones is so important

Tyus Jones of the Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Tyus Jones of the Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

The Washington Wizards have played three games in the Las Vegas Summer League so far. There were plenty of positive flashes like Bilal Coulibaly’s defense, Tristan Vukcevic’s skill set, or Patrick Baldwin Jr’s two-way ability, but there have also been clear struggles on the offensive end. The lack of a true point guard on the roster has made things difficult for the likes of Bilal Coulibaly, Johnny Davis, and Ryan Rollins on the offensive end. That is why Tyus Jones will be a key piece for Washington next season.

It was important to see what Coulibaly and Davis could do with the ball in their hands this summer. They were given studio space to explore what they are capable of doing on-ball. Despite some positive flashes, the returns of that experiment don’t suggest that either player will be ready to run the offense in the 2023-24 season.

Ryan Rollins looked the most comfortable running pick-and-rolls and setting the table for his teammates, and he most likely earned himself a role in the rotation. But the Wizards offense still struggled to create good looks. They only generated 24 three-pointers per game so far, the second-fewest number in the Summer League. The overall field-goal percentage for the team is a miserable 40.2% in three games.

A true floor general is needed next to the young players like Coulibaly, Davis, Rollins, and Baldwin Jr to get them easier shots. Tyus Jones is that guy.

Jordan Poole and Kyle Kuzma will have plenty of chances to run the offense for Washington. Even though both players are much improved as playmakers in recent years, they both have score-first mentalities. Setting their teammates up is not the forte of their game.

It is for Tyus Jones. He knows how to take care of the ball, get his teammates good looks, and provide enough floor-spacing to open up driving lanes for the young Wizards. Coulibaly, Davis, and Rollins could also learn from Jones how to run an offense playing at their own pace.

The offense will presumably be a problem for the Wizards all season. They will likely have a better defense than offense because of their defensively-minded personnel. So, the best thing coach Wes Unseld Jr can do is to surround his young talent with competent offensive players. And, Tyus Jones is as good as they come on this Wizards roster.