Point guard Tyus Jones became the first – and likely only – restricted free agent to sign an offer sheet this offseason when he inked a three-year deal with the Grizzlies last weekend. However, entering the summer, Jones hadn’t been planning to move on to a new team after spending the first four years of his NBA career with the Timberwolves, as he tells Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.
“I think it’s just natural to look at it and see all the stars were aligning and assume that I’ve been here for four years and carved out a nice role in this team and you just kind of assume we’re going to figure it out here,” Jones said. “You don’t go into it thinking you’re going to be moving on to another team. Things happen. It’s a business and it’s always going to be a business. I’m just thankful and glad to have a team that’s so excited about me joining their family.”
According to Krawczynski, the Timberwolves did make an offer to Jones during the first week of free agency, but it was a four-year deal that started at just $4.2MM, with the final year non-guaranteed. Jones balked at that offer, and there was some “disenchantment” within his camp, says Krawczynski.
After what he called “the longest week or 10 days of my life,” Jones received an offer from the Grizzlies that was more in the ballpark of what the former first-round pick was seeking. The three-year deal will be worth about $8-9MM annually.
Here’s more on the Timberwolves:
- Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor was a fan of Jones, and some people that expected Taylor to lobby to keep him, but sources tell Krawczynski that the team owner was ultimately on board with Minnesota’s decision not to match his offer sheet.
- In a breakdown of the Timberwolves’ point guard outlook, Krawczynski reports that the Timberwolves didn’t plan on making a push for Russell Westbrook while Oklahoma City was shopping him. The same thinking applies to Chris Paul, since the Wolves are looking to surround Karl-Anthony Towns with core players who are closer to his age, per Krawczynski.
- New Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said this week that he’s excited to be able to take low-cost “bets” on players like Noah Vonleh and Tyrone Wallace, as Chris Hine of The Star Tribune relays. Rosas also explained why the team pursued – and acquired – restricted free agent Jake Layman: “We really like his versatility, his feel, his IQ, ability to play on the ball, off the ball. To play a couple of positions offensively, defensively. We see a lot of upside with him. He’s got a tough identity that translates on both ends.”
- I took a closer look earlier today at the salary cap machinations surrounding the Wolves’ sign-and-trade for Layman.