When Kyle Kuzma was asked what Tyus Jones brings to the Washington Wizards, he said, “calmness”. Jones has been regarded as one of the best backups for years now, especially to Kuz who referred to him as “one of the better point guards in the NBA”. Kuzma also gave the indication that Jones will be the starter this season which will be a new role for him.
With Jones being a part of the rebuild, the eight-year veteran will be looked at as a leader for this young team.
Jones can help the Wizards be effective in transition
The thing that Jones gives the Wizards is the ability to play fast. The team talked about playing faster in the press conference and Jones can fill that role. Jones’ Grizzlies were fifth in pace per 48 minutes and second in fastbreak points last season. Much of his offense came in the fast break, as he averaged 1.28 points per possession in transition. This shows that he can help a Wizards team that finished in the bottom half of pace and fastbreak points last year.
Jordan Poole also comes from a Warriors team that played very fast. He and Jones will definitely look to push the tempo. With the group of younger players that the Wizards now have, they should look to run more. Deni Avdija thrives in the fastbreak as a point forward. Daniel Gafford can be an excellent lob threat option that can get the crowd going. Bilal Coulibaly is a long athlete who can thrive in a fast-paced offense.
Danilo Gallinari, Landry Shamet, Corey Kispert and Mike Muscala can serve as shooting options in the halfcourt offense, which Jones can facilitate when the game slows down. Jones around these players can really open up the offense.
Jones’ ability to take care of the ball will be critical for the young Wizards
Jones is coming off a season where he averaged a 5.4 assist-to-turnover ratio which was second in the league behind former Wizard Monte Morris. Essentially, Jones and Morris are the same type of player, with nearly identical stats. Having that stability at point guard who’s essentially the extension of the coach is very important.
Coach Wes Unseld Jr. summed it up perfectly on Media Day:
"“He’s essentially a coach on the floor…He’s not going to turn the ball over. He’s steady. He’s going to give you a sense (of leadership) and a presence, essentially being an extension of myself and the coaching staff. But also, he can score the ball.”"
With Kuzma saying that Jones brings calmness to the team, it shows that the team needed someone who could lead the troops in any role he is given. The Wizards can never seem to keep their point guards for more than a year dating all the way back to Russell Westbrook. Hopefully, Tyus Jones can be here long-term and thrive in the opportunity to be a full-time starter for the first time in his professional career.