Tre Jones: On-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.


 
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Ball-handling

Jones has an impressive handle that is tight to his body, displaying exceptional control even if his conservative style doesn’t bend opposing defense often. While not a flashy ball-handler, he is very capable of dealing with pressure, maintaining a tight handle against tough defense. His great ball control helps him retain possession even against longer defenders, and while he doesn’t have a myriad of moves—sticking mostly to hesitations and crossovers—he uses them well, and oftentimes doesn’t need them to get to his spots. When he does use them, his quick crossover or left-to-right between-the-legs dribble can create space. He usually uses his handle to find space to pass, and NBA spacing may provide more opportunities for him to use his handle to create passing angles.


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Passing

One of his better skills in the offense, Jones is a smart half-court passer who knows the ins and outs of off-ball actions and knows how and when to deliver a good pass. He has exceptional vision and solid passing touch, and perhaps more importantly he is a very willing passer. He shows soft touch and good vision on passes, always evaluating the floor and looking to see if he can get his teammates the ball. He can make passes with either hand, allowing him to get the ball to his teammates in situations and areas of the court which work to their advantage. One of his strengths is on lob passes, which he delivers with that soft touch and pinpoint accuracy. Jones doesn’t make risky passes—both a positive and a negative—but he is efficient with his passing, getting the ball where it needs to be on a consistent basis.


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Shooting off the dribble

This is an area where Jones has struggled this season, but he is not quite as bad as the numbers indicate. He has good form, squaring up off-the-bounce with feet spread out well; shooting off-the-catch provides more difficulties for him (read more about his shooting form). Overall his mechanics are solid and compact, and he displays a fluid and quick release. His pull-up game has been mostly mid-range to this point, but if his shot can be tweaked slightly there is reason to project a shot beyond-the-arc. His shot selection has been smart, and he has not gobbled up possessions trying to shoot himself into rhythm when playing with more talented scorers. One of the major issues for Jones has been those other scorers, who cramp the floor and don’t allow him to get the ball in situations where he can succeed.


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Finishing off the dribble

Early in the season Jones really struggled in this area, with his lack of tools preventing him from getting all the way to the hoop. He has nice touch on floaters, but once he is at the rim defenders have really bothered his shot. More recently he has begun to improve in this area, displaying a variety of finishes and even initiating contact when challenged. His strong core and tight dribble help him get to advantageous spots. He clearly projects as a below-the-rim athlete, with just one dunk attempt that, um, did not work out so well. While the early returns here were concerning, but this area has started to round out into, if not a strength, then not a gaping weakness either.


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Finishing in the post

Jones is not a post-up player, and does not have the frame to add this to his repertoire even if he wanted to. He’s also too smart to waste possessions posting up.