Tre Jones Scouting Report: Strengths, Weaknesses and Fit – Atlanta Hawks

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 01: Tre Jones #3 of the Duke Blue Devils dribbles during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome on February 01, 2020 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 01: Tre Jones #3 of the Duke Blue Devils dribbles during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome on February 01, 2020 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

Tre Jones Scouting report: showcasing his strengths and potential fit with the Atlanta Hawks.

It’s no secret that the Atlanta Hawks need defensive help – they’ve been among the worst teams in the league on that end for a few years now and improved only marginally after the addition of De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish.

They should still be looking long and hard at any defensive prospect in the draft, especially in the backcourt. Duke’s Tre Jones was one of the best defensive players in college basketball last season, uprooting the stereotype of shorter guards being lackluster defenders.

Here we have a full scouting report for Tre Jones, starting with his strengths before hitting his weakness, fit with the Atlanta Hawks and a bit of film.

Jones’ Strengths:

Tireless defense

Jones is a non-stop defender and some of his best plays on that end come from effort alone. He fights through screens with tenacity and has great hands when guarding one-on-one. Jones is feisty on the perimeter – the type of defender that gets under offense’s skins – and on the rare occasion he does get be in isolation, he’s going to give everything he can to course correct and get back in the play.

Jones’ feet are always moving, ready at any time for his man to drive in either direction. He keeps his hands busy as well, especially in the halfcourt, not only hand-checking but going for steals as well.


Anticipation is one of Jones’ best traits, and he’s always a threat to intercept a careless pass. He’s not a ball-watcher, however, and is able to keep tabs on his man while keeping the play in front of him.

Floor general/Offensive IQ

On offense, Jones will never be more than a game manager, but he could be a very good one. He’s a reliable, smart passer who handles himself well in the P&R. He’s a good communicator on both ends of the court and has a veteran-style feel of the game. He won’t rush or force passes, neither will he go for the full court touchdown pass in transition unless it’s wide open.

Shot selection

Jones was not always the greatest shooter in Durham (which we’ll get to) but made the most of it with smart shot IQ. Despite often being the first option on a weaker-than-usual Duke team, Jones rarely forced shots.

It should only get better at the next level too when he’s not asked to do as much as he was in college.

Jones’ Weaknesses:


Jones’ 6’2 frame comes more into play on this end that it does on D, and Jones’ inside shots are frequently met with a block. Even when he does finish, Jones’ shots just look awkward at times. Just not a natural interior scorer, which is something that likely won’t improve.

Questionable jump shot

Jones’ outside shooting improved significantly in his sophomore season but is still not a real perimeter threat outside of open catch-and-shoot looks. His shot is slow-forming and a bit odd, releasing seemingly too close to his face.

His midrange game was one of the weakest parts of his game, which is a bit puzzling given his soft touch on floaters and solid free throw percentage of 77. He could get hot on occasion in college and will likely carry the “streaky shooter” badge in the NBA.


There’s a real chance that Tre Jones is already at his peak, which is not an inherently bad thing, but he could have a much lower ceiling than others drafted around the same time as him. It’s not a reason not to draft him but will almost certainly keep his name out of the lottery.

Film Session:

Full game versus Syracuse (1/21/20):


  • From 7:01-7:08: a good example of Tre’s jumpy off-ball D. Watch his feet, head, and hands.
  • 8:10: Good drive and fight through Syracuse’s zone D, finishing with a high-rising shot over taller defenders.
  • 9:22-9:33 – Aggressive, effective defense from Jones, completely taking #11 out of the possession.
  •  12:42 – A rare forced shot from the top of the key with over 16 seconds left on the shot clock.
  • At 15:15, Jones fights through three screens to contest a hand-off three.
  • 17:42 – Just incredibly active defense, not giving his man an inch on a simple inbound.
  • 18:13 – Jones with a straight-up contest on a much larger ‘Cuse player, forces a miss and comes down with the board.
  • 30:47 – ill-advised, left-handed shot in transition with a few open teammates sitting on the arch.
  • 36:17: Opponent’s step-back gets little-to-no separation even after slightly beating Jones off the bounce.
  • 45:41 – after successfully stopping a fast-break, Jones zips back to his man to prevent open three. Watch specifically the lack of over-commitment, allowing him to stay in front of his guy.
  • 49:35 – a rare occasion of Jones being caught napping (by my count, the only time in this game) although he did recover with a flying closeout to at least make it a contested look.
  • 1:12:22 – easily traps his man in the corner forcing help and breaking down Syracuse’s offensive set.
  • 1:16:57 – beats a three-man press by himself, smart decision to reset despite having a semi-open shot in the lane.

Highlights from a showdown with potential lottery pick Cole Anthony:


  • 1:12 – effortless hesi to get past Anthony, finishes with the same high-rising fade we saw last game.
  • 2:19 – a heads-up swipe, using just a little push to score in transition.
  • 2:45 – pretty behind the back move to get in the lane, gains even more separation with a hop-step gather. Finishes off the glass.
  • 3:49 – makes the coast-to-coast look a little too easy, cutting the lead to two with under:20 to play.
  • 4:02 – the now-famous play:  Jones misses the free throw intentionally with 4.4 to go, grabs his own board, and takes the long two to tie the game at the buzzer. His best moment at Duke and one of the best college plays of the year.
  • 4:21 – back-to-back possessions of Jones making easy work of Anthony. Finished both with a midrange fader.
  • 4:31 – a huge steal with his off-hand, getting to the line at the other end.
  • 5:49 – another big moment and Jones doesn’t hesitate. Gets to the line once again, looking for contact the whole time.

Fit With Atlanta Hawks:

Jones would be a great way to offset fellow point guard Trae Young‘s lackluster defense, but with both being under 6’3, it’d be very hard to play them together. As a backup, Jones could bring high-level IQ on both ends of the court and could play big minutes right away.

The Bottom Line:

Jones’ size and athleticism is an issue on offense, but he has real defensive skills that could make him a solid role player for a long time. He can run an offense with poise and leadership that you usually don’t see out of a 20-year-old.

His NBA ceiling will grow if he can become a more consistent outside shooter.

Next. Devin Vassell NBA Scouting Report. dark

Should the Atlanta Hawks draft Tre Jones?