Tyus Jones Officially Joins Grizzlies After Wolves Decline To Match Offer Sheet

JULY 11: Jones’ contract with the Grizzlies is now official, per a press release from the team.

JULY 9: The Timberwolves have opted not to match Tyus Jones‘ three-year offer sheet with the Grizzlies, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). The decision, which was due by midnight eastern time, will pave the way for the restricted free agent to finalize his deal with Memphis and become the newest member of the Grizzlies’ backcourt.

Gersson Rosas, the Wolves’ new president of basketball operations, has issued a statement confirming that the Wolves will let Jones join the Grizzlies, as Darren Wolfson of SKOR North relays (via Twitter).

“We sincerely thank Tyus for his contributions on the court and Tyus and the entire Jones family for their genuine impact on the Twin Cities community,” Rosas said. “We wish them nothing but the best in Memphis.”

Jones became the first restricted free agent of the 2019 offseason to sign an offer sheet on Sunday. It’s the second consecutive year that the Grizzlies have used their mid-level exception to poach an RFA from a Western Conference rival — they did so with Spurs forward Kyle Anderson a year ago.

Jones, 23, averaged 6.9 PPG, 4.8 APG, and 1.2 SPG last year in 68 games (22.9 MPG) for Minnesota. While his numbers don’t jump off the page, he’s a solid defender who grades out well analytically. He’ll join a Grizzlies point guard rotation that figures to feature a heavy dose of No. 2 overall pick Ja Morant, along with newly-acquired youngster De’Anthony Melton. Memphis sent longtime point guard Mike Conley to Utah and signed-and-traded Delon Wright to Dallas earlier this offseason.

According to Bobby Marks of ESPN.com (via Twitter), Jones’ three-year deal has a first-year base value of $8.4MM with $850K in likely bonuses. It has a descending structure but can be worth close to $27MM in total. The former Duke Blue Devil told Sean Deveney this week that he’s “excited” to join the Grizzlies, and hopes to help establish a winning culture in Memphis (Twitter link).

As Marks notes, the Timberwolves – having just claimed Tyrone Wallace on waivers – would have been slightly over the tax line if they had matched Jones’ offer sheet. Additionally, the Wolves are pursuing maximum-salary cap room in 2020 and adding Jones’ multiyear deal to their books would’ve complicated that goal, tweets Wojnarowski.

With Jones and departed free agent Derrick Rose out of the picture, Minnesota has Jeff Teague, Shabazz Napier, and Wallace in the mix at point guard. The team may continue to explore its options to fortify the position.

Now that Jones is off the board, only one restricted free agent – Kelly Oubre of the Suns – remains on the market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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21 thoughts on “Tyus Jones Officially Joins Grizzlies After Wolves Decline To Match Offer Sheet

  1. jeb39999

    Seems like a great fit for Memphis behind Morant, I don’t think the wolves will regret letting him go, but he was a solid backup and capable fill-in starter who they now need to replace.

  2. acarneglia

    Jones could be a good “veteran” leader for the Grizzlies moving forward. Despite only being in the NBA 4 years, he played a huge leadership role on a very talented Duke team who won a National Championship.

  3. Robert G.

    I’m so disappointed. I thought Tyus never got a chance to show his full talents here with the Wolves, and I thought he would have thrived under Ryan Saunders. The Wolves need high-IQ guys like Tyus. I wish they had kept him.

    • fishy 9 dogs

      I think he would do great if he had more opportunity, but I also don’t think he would ever be capable of being the starter for a championship team. I love Tyus, and even though I wanted to keep him, Rosas keeps reminding us why he is in his position and we aren’t. Money matters and he has big plans. Just gotta have faith.

  4. All Minnesota Sports

    Not too happy about this. This contract is a little less than what George Hill just signed, and I’d always rather have Tyus. Yes, it’d be dangerously close to the cap, but that could easily be fixed. Rosas said he wants talent that peaks with KAT and Tyus fits the bill.

  5. agentx

    In a related story, Joe Lacob and Bob Marks have announced that the Warriors will retire Tyus Jones’s number.

  6. Great move for Minny. That price is way too much for a back up PG, Memphis have to keep overpaying players like with Anderson last year, Minny should find a replacement for much less than that.

    • x%sure

      Yes, they probably already have in ShabazzN. TyusJ’s numbers are great and he always looks like he knows what he’s doing, but too much money for a backup.

      • fishy 9 dogs

        It’s really frustrating because Tyus is my ideal back up PG. But damn. But I agree, you can’t spend that much for a back up. If it were 5-6 mil I would have happily paid.

      • D$!LLKU$H-og

        Shabazz was solid on the Nets last year backing up DLo and Din. For the minimum the Wolves wouldn’t find a better backup PG unless they signed Rondo. Guys like Cook, Caruso, McConnell and Arcidiacano signed for $3MM or more. Wallace was a smart pick up too.

  7. Jones had (and I guess has) his fans, but historically a contract based on an unmatched offer sheet is extremely likely to be a bad one.

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