Shortly after this past year’s NBA Draft, the man behind this current article wrote a piece describing why fans should keep an eye on new Pistons two-way player Jordan Bone. That piece analyzed the guard’s performance with the University of Tennessee and broke down the various ways he could help out either Detroit or the Grand Rapids Drive, the team’s G League affiliate. As he stood as one of the best guards in the SEC, the analysis was unsurprisingly positive as it praises his well-rounded offensive play and hard work on the defensive end.
Nearly five months after that article dropped, Bone has since started his pro career within the Pistons organization. Although he has been on the court for two games with the big league squad, most of the guard’s time has been in the G League with Grand Rapids. To say that he’s impressed would probably be an understatement. In six games, he’s averaged 18.5 points, 9.3 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals on 49% from the field and 42% from beyond the arc on 6.3 attempts per game. Those averages have allowed him to maintain a very solid 59% True Shooting Percentage.
As those tremendous numbers might tell you, the rookie guard has already stepped up to be the on-court leader of the Grand Rapids Drive. That’s most evident on the offensive end as he’s been able to stand as the general to the other four players that are wearing the same uniform as him. More times than not, those teammates are the beneficiaries of that leadership through being able to recognize and throw precise passes.
That knack has been most evident when he’s working with bigs in pick-and-rolls and drive-and-dish. As a pick-and-roll passer, the 6’3 guard is reliable due to showing incredible patience with waiting for the right moment to work the ball to the cutting big. In regards to the other trait, he’s shown an ability to use his quick first step to move past that perimeter defender and drive to the paint before slinging a precise pass to a teammate. An example of him utilizing that second trait is seen in the clip below, as Bone starts to drive to the rim with his right hand before slinging a pretty cross-court pass to Sekou Doumbouya.
In addition to being a tremendous facilitator that is currently maintaining a 2.3 Ast/TO ratio, Bone has shined as an offensive weapon that’s been able to stand out as a perimeter threat and on-ball driver. Just like we mentioned back in that June piece, the Tennessee alum has a knack of being able to hit shots beyond the arc, whether working off-ball as a catch-and-shoot threat or using his handles to create separation and launch up a shot. Both tactics have worked as he’s currently shooting 42% from beyond the arc on 6.3 attempts per game.
His knack as a facilitator, perimeter shooter, and being able to drive to the rim with either hand has allowed his presence to be a massive boost for the Drive’s offense. Currently, Grand Rapids is 22 points per 100 possessions better when he’s on the court (112.2 points per 100) compared to when he’s sitting on the sidelines (90 points per 100). Although that may be an example of a small sample size, it’s already clear that Bone has been a massive asset to the Drive.
Along with being an on/off ratio god, his presence has pushed the Drive to start the year with a 5-2 record, good enough to place them 5th in the Eastern Conference. While a lot can change for the team between now and the end of the season, it’s already clear that Jordan Bone has been a great leader for the young team and stands as one of the best rookies in the G League.