Twice during a game against Phoenix on Nov. 2, Spurs guard Tre Jones had the ball beyond the three-point line, and center Victor Wembanyama was in the paint.

Jones knew all he had to do in those moments was throw the ball high enough near the rim, and Wembanyama, the 7-foot-4 prodigy who was the No. 1 pick in the draft, would be the only one who could get it.

"It's a bit of a cheat code to be able to put the ball in places you know only one guy can get it," Jones said in a phone interview Wednesday.

Cheat code might be the perfect description for Wembanyama, whose athleticism and arsenal of skills have caused a lot of excitement just a few weeks into his NBA career. The Wolves will get their first taste of Webanyama on Friday when they travel to San Antonio to take on the Spurs.

In the middle of all the buzz is Jones, the Apple Valley native who is playing a critical role off the bench this season for San Antonio after starting 65 games a season ago.

"Very exciting times for our organization," Jones said of Wembanyama's arrival. "You can definitely feel a shift through the organization the last couple of years. You can feel it throughout the entire city, even. Our city backs us up so much and supports us so much. You can feel that tremendously throughout all the people you run into, all the fans, everyone working for us in the organization — you can feel it all."

Jones is averaging 8.9 points and 6.3 assists in 25.8 minutes off the bench as Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is opting to start Jeremy Sochan in a point-forward role while bringing Jones off the bench.

But the Spurs have been much better this season when Jones has been on the floor than when he has been off it. In the 181 minutes Jones has played this season before Wednesday's loss to the Knicks, the Spurs have a net rating of plus-3.9, the best mark on the team. In the 165 minutes Jones hasn't played, the Spurs are minus-26, the lowest mark of any player when he is off the floor. Jones is aware of these numbers and that they can be used as a convincing argument he should be starting or playing more.

"I try not to pay much attention to it," Jones said of the numbers. "Obviously, with the world we live in, people are going to be tweeting or texting you it. I try to just ignore it."

But Jones is also a consummate team player and said he will do whatever Popovich and the coaching staff ask of him.

"I try to view it as: I see how our starting lineup is and how much height and length we have all around the court with that starting lineup," Jones said. "I see the advantages it gives our team. It's not hard feelings or anything about that. I'm trying to just be a spark off the bench for us. I'm trying to be a leader for us off the bench as well."

Jones sees it as part of his job to develop chemistry on the roster, and that includes his chemistry with Wembanyama, who is averaging 18.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game, which is fourth in the league. Jones said with a laugh his first impression of Wembanyama was that he's "very tall."

After that, Jones said, he learned the 19-year-old was "down-to-earth, all about winning and a super competitor." Wolves fans will get to see that up close for themselves on Friday.

"It's actually been pretty easy," Jones said of playing with Wembanyama. "That's because of the basketball IQ that he has. He's very smart and thinks the game at a very high level. It's been pretty easy to get on the same page with him."