The Wizards have a Tyus Jones problem, and it may get significantly worse

One of Washington's biggest potential problems in this offseason may revolve around Tyus Jones.
Tyus Jones, Washington Wizards
Tyus Jones, Washington Wizards / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

There is no sugarcoating it: the Washington Wizards are not exactly primed to return to contention in the Eastern Conference next season. They were at or close to the bottom of the standings for most of this past year, and the building blocks they have in place are not the most ideal.

Sure, there are some bright spots. Kyle Kuzma continues growing as a versatile three-level scorer, and Bilal Coulibaly has some of the most exciting upside as a wing defender of any young player in the league. There are definitely several player on Washington's roster that could still be around by the time they are ready to make their next playoff run.

But one of the Wizards' biggest reasons for optimism could also be one of their biggest downfalls in the near future. I am speaking, of course, of Tyus Jones. The veteran point guard is seemingly one of the last of a dying breed. He is a pass-first, great decision-making, no-nonsense guard that is a consistently strong playmaker.

Over the course of his career, Tyus has been notorious for making good choices with the basketball in his hands. At the end of this past season, he became the first player in NBA history to lead the league in assist-to-turnover ratio five seasons in a row. His commitment to playing a clean game is truly unrivaled.

Should Jones depart, the Wizards have no PG on the roster

He is just the type of player the Wizards would love to have around for many more seasons as a positive locker room presence as well as a glue guy on the court. But there is one major roadblock to that scenario playing out, and that is the reality that Jones is a free agent this summer. After playing out the second season of his two-year, $29 million deal, Tyus is set to hit the open market.

Washington has not yet re-signed him, and that of course is the crux of the issue. Jones will now be free to pursue deals from any team willing to open up the checkbook for him, and after his performance this past season, that could include a lot of potential suitors.

The Wizards will now run the risk of losing Tyus for nothing. Outside of the obvious downside of not getting any return for a talented starting guard, Washington would also be left without a true point guard on their roster should Jones depart. Or at least, not one of starting caliber, and not one willing and able to play any kind of role similar to the one Tyus does.

If Washington had been more proactive and had anticipated Jones potentially leaving in free agency, they would have been wise to cook up a trade involving him before the February deadline. Now, they could be left without a true lead ball-handler and could have even less direction next season than they did last.