Cavaliers select Tyus Jones, will reportedly trade him to Timberwolves
The Cavaliers selected former Duke guard Tyus Jones with the No. 24 pick in 2015 NBA draft on Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but they will trade him to the Timberwolves, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
The Cavaliers will receive the No. 31 and 36 picks in this year's draft from Minnesota, Wojnarowski reports.
Jones averaged 11.8 points, 5.6 assists and nearly 34 minutes per game as a freshman at Duke. He was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player after helping lead Duke to a national championship with 23 points against Wisconsin in the NCAA title game.
Jones did not attend Thursday's draft.
Mannix's analysis: This pick is reportedly headed to Minnesota. Jones made the leap into the NBA draft after a strong NCAA tournament. He’s a tempo-pushing playmaker (which Flip Saunders will love) who showed poise beyond his years last season. He’s patient, extremely comfortable in the pick-and-roll and sees the floor well. He’s an average shooter (who isn’t at this point?) and physically he’s not all that imposing. But if Minnesota is looking for a backup for Ricky Rubio, Jones is a nice option.
Strengths: A natural leader and distributor, Jones is a cerebral player who gets the job done. He was regarded as the top point guard in his class for much of high school, and his teams have almost always won. He checks all the intangible boxes, including a notable competitive streak. Don’t expect him to be a big-time scorer, but he won’t need to be in order to have success. Jones looks suited to step into a backup role immediately, and it’s tough to bet against his track record. Considering the number of special NBA guards who’ve had plenty of success without sexy athletic attributes, Jones could be a steal in the middle of the first round.
Weaknesses: Jones doesn’t fit the current chic mold of a big explosive ball-handler and will have a shorter leash as a result. Trey Burke could be a recent detrimental point of comparison, though Jones has better size and is a more instinctive playmaker at the same stage. As a freshman he quieted the talk about his inconsistent perimeter shooting (37% from deep). The next thing he’ll have to show is whether he can cut it defensively as a pro. The million-dollar question is if Jones’s lack of athleticism will overshadow his considerable strengths. It’s a critique we’ve seen successful point guards dismiss plenty of times before.