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Tyus Jones Makes First Trip Back To Target Center
Tyus Jones is no stranger to Target Center.
Jones made his name known at the Timberwolves’ home court in 2013 when he led the Apple Valley Eagles boys’ basketball team to a state title in front of 13,309 fans. As a top prospect in the nation, Jones was already on Minnesota basketball fans’ radar before the state championship game, but his 26 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and perfect free-throw shooting that led his team to victory over Park Center cemented his Minnesota high school basketball legacy.
Jones spent his first basketball season out of Minnesota in the 2014-15 season in which he earned a national title for the Duke Blue Devils and was named the Final Four MVP. But Minnesota fans’ excitement may have topped that of the Cameron Crazies when they learned of his return to Target Center.
Jones was selected as the No. 24 pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 draft after his stellar NCAA Tournament run but was traded to the Timberwolves the night of the draft and was able to begin the next chapter of his basketball career right where it started.
“I said from the beginning that it was a dream come true and something you never imagine happening,” Jones said via Grizzlies.com. “When I entered the draft, you’re always assuming you’re going to move across the country to who knows where. But for me, getting drafted by my hometown team – a lot of people don’t ever get a chance like that – I was blessed and very fortunate.”
So were Wolves fans.
Minnesota fans pledged their allegiance to Jones long before he ever suited up in a Wolves jersey, but their attachment to the Apple Valley native grew stronger as they watched him develop among the pros.
Jones began his NBA career by only playing in 37 games and averaging 15.5 minutes per game as a rookie, but soon became a worthy back-up point guard whom the Wolves could rely on. Jones started 34 total games and averaged 17.7 minutes, 5.1 points, 3.4 assists and 1.0 steals in his four years as a Timberwolf. In 2018-19, he set the NBA record while posting a 6.9-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
But for the first time in his prolific basketball career, Jones will be a guest in Target Center on Sunday.
Over the offseason, Jones signed as a restricted free agent with the Memphis Grizzlies, whom the Wolves will host at 2:30 p.m. CT on Sunday.
Jones is averaging 19.4 minutes, 6.1 points and 4.8 assists per game in his first 17-game stretch as a Grizzly and has served as a mentor for starting point guard and rookie standout Ja Morant.
The Wolves are no longer beneficiaries of Jones’ calm demeanor, top-notch basketball I.Q., perfectly-placed entry passes, seamless floaters or his ability to bring success to his teammates.
It’s now time for another fanbase to enjoy all that Jones brings to the game of basketball, but no matter where he goes, Jones will never be a stranger when he returns to the Target Center. He’ll be home.