Height/Weight: 6’3, 185 lbs.
Tre Jones was a projected first round draft pick last year, and surprised many when he decided to return to Duke for his sophomore season. Early on, it looks like that was a good decision by Jones, who is the now the go to guy for the Blue Devils following the loss of Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Cam Reddish to the NBA. He’s looked much better and more confident offensively, looking for his shot more and also improving his assist numbers with less capable weapons around him.
Jones makes his impact felt most on the defensive end of the court; he’s arguably the best perimeter defender in college basketball. He’s lightning quick, has great footwork, and can stay in front of guys for 90 feet. He stays disciplined on the ball, rarely going for head fakes and makes it extremely difficult for opposing guards to shake him. He’s also a very active and intelligent defender off the ball, possessing great anticipation leading to a high steal rate.
Offensively, Jones is the definition of a floor general. He’s careful and smart with the basketball and rarely forces the issue. He has great vision and is an excellent distributor, and just does a great job of finding open teammates and making everyone around him better.
Tre Jones still has a ways to go on as a shooter, but he’s very good at knocking down mid range shots, and he’s a strong finisher at the rim. Jones can drive and finish effectively using either hand, which keeps defenders guessing and makes him very tough to stay in front of.
Tre Jones has all of the intangibles that you want in a player. He’s so unselfish, and one of those guys that would be just as happy scoring 25 as he is not attempting a shot the entire game, as long as his team gets the win. His defense, poise, and leadership are all things that are essentially guarantees every game, and are qualities that every team at the next level would love to have in a point guard.
The main area of concern with Jones right now is his three point shooting. He’s shooting it a little more as a sophomore, and his percentage is improving but still has a ways to go before he’ll be able to become a capable shooter from NBA range. He also hesitates fairly often when he has an open look from outside, which either stems from his release being on the longer side, or just being passive and thinking that he can get it to a teammate for a better shot instead. Either way, Jones needs to keep working on his jumper and start improving his numbers if he wants NBA teams to believe he can effective from the outside at the pro level.
Jones is on the smaller side for an NBA point guard. He has room to fill out his frame as well, and could benefit greatly from putting on more muscle in preparation for the draft. While he’s listed at 6’3, he looks to be a little shorter than that. His measurements at the combine will be something to look out for and could potentially impact his stock if he’s not quite as tall as he’s currently listed.
There’s so much to like about Jones if you’re an NBA GM. His defensive ability and extremely high basketball IQ are a rare combination that every team in the league would love to have. Even if he doesn’t develop into a big time shooter/scorer, he will still find a role at the next level thanks to his passing, defense, and intangibles.
If Jones was an elite shooter, he would likely be one of the first guards taken and a top ten pick in the 2020 draft. However, with that part of his game still a question mark, going that high seems unlikely, but I think late lottery is still a real possibility for Tre. Ultimately, I see Jones being selected in the teens or twenties, and whatever team picks him will get a true point guard who has the ability to contribute right away.