Point Guard, 6'2 - 185lbs
First impression of TJ is that he’s an incredibly smart player, who can be relied upon with offensive decision making & defensive intensity. Really high basketball IQ and feel for the game. Very unselfish & willing to distribute (5.3 AST/gm). Shooting remains a weakness of his and will need to be refined in the 2019-20 season, but he does so many other things at a high level that he’s a high upside prospect.
Jones is a competitor and appears willing to do whatever the team needs in order to win. Excellent motor & rarely appears to take a play off.
Athleticism: Height can be an issue, he’s got average length and is considered a bit undersized even at PG. While he’s only 6’2, his strength and agility often helps make up for it. Excellent body control on drives & can elevate at the rim. He can stop on a dime and change directions quickly giving him a strong first step. Lateral movement is plus, with an excellent ability to change speeds side to side & straight line. He’ll need to put on 10-15 pounds of muscle in order to compete with taller/bigger NBA guards.
Offense: I think Jones can become a floor general, running an offense efficiently and limited mistakes/turnovers. TJ excels the most when he is attacking the basket downhill. He may be small in the paint, but his body control and ability to use both hands makes him a real threat with the ball. He can get to the rim but also has a nice, soft floater. Excellent passer with both hands to various parts of the floor, can be a really good facilitator with playmakers around him. Willing to get in and rebound when he needs, solid nose for the ball. My confidence in Jones grows with every time I see film or watch him play - I just really hope to see the playmaking ability develop in 2019.
Some numbers I don't like: out of all qualified players (100+ FGA) since 2012, Jones is in the 18th percentile in TS% and 22nd percentile in eFG%. Only a few underclassmen have posted similar shooting issues but remained productive in other areas of the game. While defensive specialists are valuable in the NBA, I think Jones' size eliminates him from that discussion. He'll need to get to the FT line more and become more efficient from deep in year 2.
Defense: Always brings intensity to the defense with active hands and quick feet. He anticipates and spaces well, putting himself in the correct spots to deny passing lanes. Finished 2018-19 with 1.9 STL/gm. He irritates opposing ball handlers in both full & half court by getting close to them making life difficult. TJ does a good job of staying in front of his defender in isolation; however there are times that bigger/stronger players can go right around & over him. I'm not too worried about him getting pushed around right now because it's his body which can be developed, not a problem with his technique.
Swing Skill: 3-point shooting (26%).
Overall: Jones may lack in 3PT shooting right now, but he excels in so many other areas. His intangibles & intensity are what you want on your roster, most likely as a rotation player & solid backup PG. His craftiness & high IQ could make him a 1st RD pick in the 2020 Draft.