Toros’ Jones heading back to Utah, will replace Layden on Jazz bench

Brad JonesAustin Toros head coach Brad Jones has made the jump from D-League to NBA, according to a report from the Salt Lake Tribune.

While you most often hear about D-League players getting called up to NBA franchises, Jones is getting his "call up" to replace Scott Layden on Tyrone Corbin's bench in Utah.

Jones coached the Austin Toros for two years and lead the Toros to the D-League Championship in just his second year.

Jones has ties to the Salt Lake City franchise as he served as head coach of the Utah Flash before filling a vacancy left by Quin Snyder as Toros head coach.

Coming into his stint with the Toros, Jones called the position with the Toros the best in the D-League.

Prior to that Jones was a regional scout for the Jazz for six years, so for Jones, this was likely an opportunity he could not pass up.

"Coming from Coach Sloan and the Jazz to Coach Pop and the San Antonio Spurs organization, I'm not sure it can get any better," Jones told Project Spurs two years ago after first being hired. "I feel very, very fortunate in my coaching journey here to have those two organizations to work with." 

Observing a few Toros games the past few years, it's obvious Jones has a cool demeanor but knows how to get the most out of his players. When players have needed a kick in that pants, Jones was plenty able to provide it, while congratulating them after for stepping up their performance.

As impassioned as I saw him after Toros games and his rapport with coaching staff, Spurs front office and players, it was easy to see he could be in the NBA.

It's only fair after Jones lead Sqeaky Johnson, Lance Thomas, Marcus Cousin, Eric Dawson into stints in the NBA, that he'd get his shot as well.

Through a series of moves, it has become evident that the Spurs and Jazz hold the highest respect for each other and have looked to only those teams to fill some of their pressing non-roster needs with the Jazz naming Dennis Lindsey GM and Spurs replacing Lindsey with Scott Layden.

As for the Toros position. The Spurs could see this as an opportunity to test out a former NBA player, similar to Ime Udoka or Jacque Vaughn, with their D-League affiliate. They also have two very good options in Alex Lloyd and Taylor Jenkins.

Both coaches have been stayovers since Snyder's stint with the Toros and they've even sent Lloyd over to Hungary with Adam Hanga and have had both coaches in practices and camps and are often in the AT&T Center on Spurs game nights. Having Lloyd or Jenkins, who have been with the Toros/Spurs for several years and know the system well could be too much to pass up.

For more on Jones, listen to an interview Jeff Garcia and I had with him when he first became coach of the Toros.

About Michael A. De Leon

Michael founded Project Spurs in 2004. He started The Spurscast, the first Spurs podcast on the Internet, in 2005. Michael has been interviewed by the BBC, SportTalk, the Sports Reporters Radio Show, MemphisSportLive, OKC Sports Wrap and ESPN radio among others. He is a credentialed member of the media for the San Antonio Spurs and Austin Toros. He is also the founder of Project Spurs' sister sites, Toros Nation and Stars Hoops.

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