Back in 2019, the Wolves let the Apple Valley native walk in restricted free agency to the Grizzlies. Then-President Gersson Rosas had made up his mind that Jones wasn't the point guard of the future, and he set his sights on acquiring D'Angelo Russell, which he did eight months later at the trade deadline.
Current Wolves President Tim Connelly traded Russell at last season's deadline for 36-year-old veteran Mike Conley, a steadying force who has been one of the key ingredients in the Wolves' success this season.
But as the Wolves head toward Thursday's 2 p.m. NBA trade deadline, they find themselves possibly in need of a backup point guard now and in the future, given Conley's age. They could use someone who, like Conley, is reliable, can facilitate the offense in late-game situations and get the ball in the right hands while knocking down an occasional shot or two.
That description sounds a lot like Jones, who figures to be one of the most sought-after names on the trade market this season, with the Wolves interested in seeing what it might cost to acquire him. There's a catch, though. As a result of the Rudy Gobert trade, the Wolves don't have any first-round picks to deal outside of their pick in 2031, which isn't likely to attract a ton of interest.
They have a potentially high second-rounder this season (likely to come via Memphis) that they can deal along with some second-rounders in the future they'd be willing to part with in a deal for Jones. But the Wizards are seeking first-round pick compensation, sources said. That would leave the Wolves on the outside looking in for Jones if the Wizards can get that kind of compensation. The trade deadline is always unpredictable, so it's hard to gauge where the compensation will ultimately land in a Jones deal.
The Wolves have need of a backup point guard, but they also are looking for some scoring pop off the bench, whether in the form of a knockdown shooter or a bucket-getting type of player. The Wolves also have options they can turn to at backup point guard, like Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Jordan McLaughlin or Kyle Anderson, to cover enough minutes at that position.
"I don't know if I have room for a backup point guard," coach Chris Finch said last week. "I have everybody who wants to handle the ball all the time. But yeah, Nickeil has been great. Kyle, J-Mac, there's a lot of options there. Whatever is done or not done, we'll be able to survive it. We feel comfortable with our guys and our ball handling and secondary ball handling."
They could use more scoring, however.
A move can help make up for what the Wolves thought they would be getting from Shake Milton, who started the season in the rotation but never found a groove, and now isn't playing regular minutes. If they can't land Jones, here are some other names they are looking at, per sources. Some played under Connelly in Denver. The Wolves would prefer not to throw in some of their young talent, like Leonard Miller or Josh Minott in any deal and prefer to just part with second-round picks in any deal. Also keep in the mind, if the Wolves stand pat at the deadline, there might be players in the buyout market because of their open roster spot.
Monte Morris, Pistons
Morris played in Denver when Connelly was there and has had an injury-riddled season. He only recently returned from a quadriceps injury and has played in only six games. Morris has averaged double figures in four seasons and is a career 39% three-point shooter. He figures to attract at least some interest.
Bones Hyland, Clippers
The Wolves had interest in acquiring Hyland last season, sources said, before the Nuggets dealt him to the Clippers. The 23-year-old barely plays for the Clippers, and doesn't offer much defensively, but with how strong the Wolves are on defense, they could afford to handle that if Hyland can score in bunches. But would the Clippers, who are contending in the West with the Wolves, want to help out a potential playoff competitor?
Alec Burks, Pistons
Averaging 12.3 points per game off the bench for Detroit and is a career 39% three-point shooter. Another potential bench scorer who figures to have multiple suitors.
Delon Wright, Wizards
Like Hyland, not playing much for his current team. Wright, 31, is a career 35% three-point shooter and has played for seven different teams.
Doug McDermott, Spurs
Would seemingly be a good fit to capitalize off the attention Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns would command on offense. He's averaging 6.1 points per game in San Antonio and is a 44% career three-point shooter.