T-Wolves Rumors: Tyus Jones Gets Qualifying Offer; Hits Restricted Free Agency

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS, MN -  APRIL 9: Tyus Jones #1 of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks on during the game against the Toronto Raptors on April 9, 2019 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Tyus Jones has received a qualifying offer from the team, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, making him a restricted free agent this summer.

Jones, 23, averaged 6.9 points and 4.8 assists in 68 games for the Wolves in the 2018-19 campaign, shooting 41.5 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from three.

Zone Coverage's Dane Moore added context: 

Dane Moore @DaneMooreNBA

Tyus Jones qualifying offer is a 1-year contract for $3.57M. By tendering this offer, MN has the right of first refusal to match any offer Jones receives Jones’ cap hold remains $7.33M until he either accepts the QO, the QO is pulled, he signs a new contract, or he is renounced https://t.co/CNWmTl5AMQ

Jones is a solid backup point guard and should see some interest. Suitors will point to his 6.9-to-1.0 assist-to-turnover ratio from this past season, an NBA record

But if the Timberwolves find a way to bring D'Angelo Russell to Minnesota—they've been linked to the talented young point guard—it's hard to imagine a scenario where they also bring back Jones if he receives interest on the market.

Bringing Russell aboard is a long shot—the Timberwolves would likely need to find a team to absorb some major salaries from the group of Andrew Wiggins ($27.5 million), Jeff Teague ($19 million) and Gorgui Dieng ($16.2 million) for next season. It's doubtful many teams would willingly take on the contracts of Teague and Dieng without assets coming back, while it's questionable if Wiggins is worth his cap hit. 

So a reunion between Jones and the Wolves may yet make the most sense for the team. 

Jones is a steady, reliable player who can handle starting duties if required. If he improves his perimeter shooting, he could be a legitimate starter given his facilitating abilities and decision-making. He's no Russell, but since the Timberwolves need a lot to go right this summer to even have the cap space for that pursuit, Jones remains the more realistic option—especially since the Wolves will be able to match any offer sheet.