Tre Jones: Off-Ball Offense

Our scouting grades represent the composite opinion of at least three different scouts. Each category is graded based on how we view a player’s current ability level relative to NBA players at the same position (guard, wing, forward or big). A grade of 1 indicates replacement level, a grade of 5 indicates NBA average, and a grade of 10 indicates historically elite. Our composite scouting notes help provide context for our grades.


 
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Movement & positioning

This is an area where Jones’ basketball IQ shines more so than his physical skills. He understands the floor and how to use his own gravity to create space for teammates. His off-ball movement is smart, moving to open up passing angles or simply to pull defenders away from teammates, lifting to create space or cutting quickly across the court to open up a lane. he understands he is not the star of the show and endeavors to help those around him shine, something that will continue to be required at the next level given his limitations. While he displays intelligent timing in his cuts and moves he hasn’t been great finishing off of movement, but his instincts should generate high-percentage looks. Duke has not run him off of screens, but he has potential to be a quality relocator using off-ball screens in the future.


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Screening

Jones has shown only brief flashes in this area, but he has demonstrated he knows how to set a screen with solid technique. Extrapolating out this looks like an area where he will add value, a rarity for small guards. His basketball IQ and physicality make it likely he will be a willing screener, and his understanding of angles means he should be effective at it.


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Shooting off the catch

This will be the area that holds Jones back from minutes in the NBA unless he can improve in the next few seasons. He is worse off the catch than off the bounce, with elbow, wrist and alignment issues. He is unable to punish defenses even when left wife open, and when contested his shot is all-but-hopeless. Because he will not be a deadly on-ball scorer he will need to develop his spot-up shooting into a positive to at least threaten the defense. He has at least shown an understanding of spacing and taken most of his catch-and-shoot attempts from behind the arc, but his form and results clearly reflect a weakness in this area.


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Shooting off movement

If Jones cannot hit shots off the catch he has no business shooting off movement, and that’s something he seems to understand as well. This is not an area he should venture into anytime soon. He will likely have some value moving off screens, but it will be on the dribble attacking the warp and not as a movement shooter.


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Finishing off movement

Although Jones is a good mover without the ball, his physical limitations make him a poor threat as a cutter. He knows how to get open, taking good angles and naturally finding open spots in the defense, but his lack of pop makes his unathletic finishes a below-average proposition. He must be wide open at the rim to maintain efficiency. He will need to find ways to finish (other than his floater, which already has a nice touch) which don’t involve him having to jump into defenders. He is smart, using the rim to deflect potential shot blockers when attacking off the dribble, but that is harder to do off movement. This is likely a low volume, moderate efficiency skill for him long-term.