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Report: Tyus Jones’ contract incentives can be reached if Grizzlies has at least 33 wins each season

Tyus Jones, Grizzlies

NBA contracts are almost never as simple as initial reporting makes them out to be. Annual amount, raises or pay decreases, incentives, and more all come into play in contracts from roster-building perspectives that loom large to how a team manages the salary cap long-term.

Case in point: Tyus Jones’ four-year deal with the Memphis Grizzlies. Initially reported at both $24 million and $28 million in total, now comes word from The Athletic’s Peter Edmiston the contract has a base price of $24 million and a maximum of $26.5 million if certain incentives – all team-based, interestingly – are reached.

The Grizzlies have finally embraced a long put-off rebuilding process after trading stalwart point guard Mike Conley to the Memphis Grizzlies in June. While unlikely to win 33 games or more as a result, Memphis has an exciting young core in place with Jaren Jackson, Ja Morant, and Brandon Clarke, making it possible the team could vault back toward respectability sooner rather than later.

Jones averaged 6.9 points, 4.8 assists, and 1.2 steals per game last season, all career-highs. His uptick in playing time and usage coincided with a dip in efficiency, though, leading to a true shooting percentage of 49.1, over eight points lower than his solid 2017-18 mark.

Jones, it seems more likely than ever, won’t ever develop into the caliber of player who deserves to be a full-time starter. But he’s one of the least turnover prone point guards in basketball and has proven a far better defender than his underwhelming physical tools suggest, making him perfectly suited for backup role behind Morant.