When pairings were announced in the wake of pool play in the NBA's inaugural In-Season Tournament, San Antonio Spurs guard Tre Jones admits some his teammates weren't too thrilled about a December trip up north. But Wednesday night's game at the Minnesota Timberwolves represents a homecoming for the fourth year point guard.

“No, it never does. I know a lot of guys aren't excited to get this game scheduled but I am excited to see some family,” the Apple Valley, Minnesota native responded when asked if going back home ever gets old.

Jones happy to be back home

San Antonio Spurs, Tre Jones

Jones's daughter celebrated a birthday on December 5. A day later, the Spurs are set to take on the Timberwolves in Minneapolis for a matchup that pits two non-playoff teams from the In-Season Tournament's Group C. It should prove a true family affair for San Antonio's backup point guard.

“It's a big surprise. It's a bonus, for sure. My mom's actually home for it. I didn't know if she'd be in D.C or not but she's home so she'll be able to come,” Jones said. “Most of the family will be there so it'll be really fun to see everybody.”

Also in attendance at the Target Center will be some of Jones‘ high school teammates. A member of the Apple Valley High School varsity team from eighth grade on, he started for the team as a freshman. By the time he graduated, Jones was a two-time Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year, a McDonald's All-American and Minnesota's “Mr. Basketball” following his senior season. He led the team to two state championships before heading off to Duke University.

“I've got a couple of friends that I'm still close with that will come to the game for sure,” Jones continued. “I invited the high school coach, see if he's around.”

His home team as a blueprint for his current team

Since joining the Spurs as the 41st overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft, Jones has seen his role fluctuate. From a rookie who spent the majority of his time with the organization's G League team in Austin, to a rotational player in San Antonio by his second season, the former Blue Devil started at point guard last year.

He's back on the bench now as the coaching staff experiments with 6'8 Jeremy Sochan at the point. It's a move that coincides with the 3-16 Spurs rebuilding efforts. Jones considers his home team Timberwolves, who sit atop the Western Conference standings, as a model.

“That's one team right now that, definitely, you've seen the rebuild starting over and getting a bunch of young guys together and getting them playing on the same page,” Jones said. “Now they're a one number seed, winning a lot. Memphis was the same way for the past couple of years.”

“Obviously, they have injuries and some guys out right now,” Jones continued. “Same way with them as well, as far as they're at the bottom of the league and then got a couple of draft picks and got some new guys in there and they started winning a lot and so, we see it a lot around the league and obviously in professional sports.”

With super rookie Victor Wembanyama in the fold and with the youngest roster in the NBA, Jones adds that his current team could take a page from the franchise he grew up rooting for.

“We know it's going to be a process, short or long, where we're bought into it and we're ready to continue to just keep chipping away and ready for this thing to turn.”