An interesting side note to the Wolves' decision not to match Tyus Jones' three-year, $28 million offer in Memphis: Based on a new metric introduced this week by FiveThirtyEight, Minnesota might have a defensive upgrade at point guard already on its roster.
The metric, which tracks shot data, defensive positioning and opponent field-goal percentage, says that last season Shabazz Napier — acquired from the Warriors after playing in Brooklyn — was worth 1.92 points per 100 possessions based on his scoring defense.
That puts Napier near the top of the point guard heap, while Jones was near the bottom at minus-1.79 points per 100 possessions last year.
In a similar number of career minutes, Napier also has attempted twice as many three-pointers at Jones and made them at a higher rate. For as popular as Jones was, the Wolves might replace his production for 15-20 minutes a night at a fraction of the cost with Napier.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.