As summer rumors continue to swirl around as free agency looms, the Knicks enter a crucial summer as they look to build upon their best season in decades and the most hope they’ve had around this franchise in a very long time.

As the NBA Finals continue and the beginning of NBA Free Agency creeps closer and closer, rumblings about certain players that the Knicks may possibly be in pursuit of continue to be discussed.

A large part of them are related to the Knicks’ need to address the problem of how the offense often struggled without Brunson on the court.

As these discussions continue, another player has increasingly come up in conversations about the Knicks and what they might be planning to do in the coming months: Tyus Jones.

His Journey So Far

Tyus Jones was drafted By the Cavaliers with the 24th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft and subsequently traded to Minnesota. He played for the Timberwolves from the 2015-2016 season until the 2018-2019 season. In July of 2019, Jones signed a $26.4 million three-year deal with the Grizzlies. He led the NBA in assists to turnover ratio in both the 2019-2020 season and the 2020-2021 season.

In the summer of 2022, Jones re-signed from the Grizzlies on a $30 million contract over two years. In the 2022-2023 season with Memphis, Jones averaged 10.3 points and 5.2 assists per game, both career highs for him at the time.

Following the Grizzlies’ first-round postseason exit in 2023, Jones was traded to the Wizards as part of a three-team deal that sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Celtics. In his 2023-2024 season in Washington, Jones averaged 12.0 points and 7.3 assists per game, both career highs, in 66 games played.

Why Would He Be a Good Fit in New York?

Fred Katz of the Athletic wrote that the Wizards’ 28-year-old point guard is an “obvious fit” for the Knickerbockers. The New York Knicks have one of the best teams they’ve had in decades and are arguably closer to a championship than they have been in 25 years.

This success has come from an incredible and impressive rebuild in the past few years, but the most pivotal turning point in this process was the signing of the Knicks superstar point guard Jalen Brunson, and to continue to put out a competitive team to represent New York, the Knicks are looking to continue to build around Brunson. However, as versatile and indefatigable as he is, the Knicks need someone to play well for the minutes that he rests.

Katz of the Athletic also wrote:

“In 50 games after trading away RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley, two mainstays in the Knicks’ second unit, the offense was 20.3 points per 100 possessions worse while Brunson was on the bench.

While the Knicks’ offense had newfound success this season, without their leader, Brunson’s presence on the court, they found themselves stymied at times. Tyus Jones has come off the bench for most of his career; however, he did start all of his 66 games for the Wizards this past season.

Tom Thibodeau coached Jones when he played in Minnesota for the first four years of his career, so the Knicks coach knows the nine-year veteran well. While Jones is coming off a season where he was largely a starter, the Knicks hope he isn’t set on pursuing a contract with a team where he can be a starter, as that wouldn’t be the case in New York.

If Jones would be satisfied taking a slight pay cut to play for a contender in the Knicks and come off the bench to run the point when Brunson needs a few minutes rest, this seems that it would be a great match for both player and franchise.

How Likely Are the Knicks to Pursue Him?

Tyus Jones seems like a good fit for New York. A point guard who can run a pick-and-roll well and run the point well for the Knicks when their star Brunson needs a bit of rest. Jones has come off the bench for the bulk of his career, so if he is willing to return to that after being a starter for Washington in 2022, he could be interested in coming to a contender in New York and backing up Jalen Brunson.

The Knicks have a hugely important offseason coming up. Coming off their best season in 24 years, their front office has big decisions to make to improve the team for the upcoming 2024-2025 season. Isaiah Hartenstein and OG Anunoby will be free agents, and the Knicks will have to attempt to keep both of them. That will be the Knick’s top priority to begin free agency. But after those two, the Knicks’ next big priority is arguably to secure a point guard who can back up Jalen Brunson well.

If the Knicks can find the money, and Jones wants to join a contender even if it means returning to the bench, this seems like a good match, and the Knicks might pursue him in the coming months. 

PHOTO: Getty Images

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