NBA Rumor: Derrick Jones Free Agency

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Still, Jones delivered the line in his next meeting, with a delegation from the Portland Trail Blazers. “If I was to come there, I believe that me and Robert Covington could help the team a whole lot,” Jones said, adding that he hoped to be named defensive player of the year in the future. “On defense, I’m going to be guarding the best players. That’s what I want.” The Portland call lasted nearly an hour, with Jones engaged and asking questions. He appeared ready to commit in the moment. “By the end of the night, we’ll get back to you,” Turner said, ending the call.

Turner learned from other sources throughout the evening that the Trail Blazers were not bluffing. Jones needed a couple of minutes. He had decided to listen to pitches at the hotel rather than at his residence because he wanted a quiet spot to contemplate with his team. Now he had left the room and ventured outside for some fresh air and to consult with his father over the telephone. Minutes ticked. Turner was antsy. He worried that the Portland deal could slip away. Where we at? Turner texted. Lock it in. Portland. Jones responded.

Bulls, Pistons and Hawks interested in Derrick Jones

Chicago might be poised to become the slam dunk champion capital of the world. The Bulls already employ a two-time title-holder in Zach LaVine, and hang the jersey of another from the United Center rafters in Michael Jordan. This offseason, they’re also expected to pursue signing 2020 dunk contest winner Derrick Jones Jr. — who won his in Chicago — away from the Heat in free agency, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “Detroit (Pistons), Chicago and Atlanta (Hawks) are among the teams expected to have interest in Jones, according to a source,” Jackson writes. “He likely will generate some interest on the open market because of his athleticism, defensive acumen, youth (23) and the belief that he hasn’t reached his ceiling offensively.”

Cavs eyeing Derrick Jones?

Miami swingman Derrick Jones Jr. is on the radar. Memphis swingman Josh Jackson makes sense as a reclamation project. If the Cavs don’t draft a big and Tristan Thompson leaves in free agency, then taking a risk on former first-round pick Harry Giles would make sense. The Cavs could also split up the mid-level and use a large chunk on one player and the leftovers on another. With Matthew Dellavedova and Thompson both unrestricted free agents and Ante Zizic already signing overseas, the Cavs have a few roster spots to fill before the 2020-21 season.

It looks like Heat impending free agent forward Derrick Jones Jr. is willing to accept the risk. At this point, the 23-year-old Jones plans to play when Miami’s season resumes. “Honestly, I haven’t been thinking about it much,” Jones said to the Miami Herald of becoming an unrestricted free agent this offseason. “I just focus on the task at hand. My task at hand is to make the playoffs this season, and we did it. My next task is to make it as far as we can in the playoffs and try to contend for a title. That’s what I got on my mind right now, and that’s what I’m thinking about right now. When that time comes for free agency, that’s honestly when I’m probably going to think about it.”

Whatever happens, Jones hopes to re-sign with the Heat in free agency this offseason and he hasn’t been shy about making that known. It’s one of the reasons he feels so compelled to participate in the restart despite the injury risk, as a sign of loyalty to the Heat. “The team gave me my first opportunity really in the NBA,” Jones said when asked why he hopes to re-sign with Miami. “When I first came here on my two-way [contract], coach [Erik Spoelstra] threw me in the fire a lot. … He just always gave me a shot, and I just had to take full advantage of every opportunity he gave me.

Arguably no player fits into that category more than Derrick Jones Jr., who, even in these depressed economic times, stands poised for a major raise from the minimum-scale $1.6 million he is earning in this final season on his Miami Heat contract. The options, beyond opting out of participation in an NBA return, have proved limiting. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, and even before, insurance policies against future earnings have been prohibitively costly, if available. In addition, there has been no traction regarding players in such position being allowed to re-sign in advance of an NBA return.

Up-tempo teams in need of help at either forward spot should be digging on Jones, especially since his best years should still be ahead. He’s an unrestricted free agent who, like Wood above, carries a low cap hold of just $1.7M, and he has full Bird rights with Miami. However, the Heat may get squeamish about paying him past next summer, when they’re trying to keep their cap space powder dry for a run at an elite free agent (coughGianniscough). That could provide an opportunity for another team to swoop in and grab Jones.

Derrick Jones Jr. signed a standard NBA contract with Miami on Sunday after playing on a two-way deal with the organization last season. The contract agreed upon is for two years with a starting salary of about $1.5 million for this upcoming season, according to a source. The first year of the contract is guaranteed and the second year is not. “My main goal wasn’t to get back on a two-way contract,” Jones said after practice in Sacramento in preparation for summer-league play. “I was doing my best to get signed to a regular NBA contract because that’s what I started at. I didn’t want to be on a two-way. It’s stepping stones you have to go through in your life. You have to battle through adversity. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been battling through adversity. It never brought me down. It was just a surreal moment for me last night when I signed that contract.”

“Since I put the Heat jersey on I knew I wanted to be a Heat Lifer,” Derick Jones Jr. said. “It’s just the culture. I came in and they embraced me with open arms like I was their long lost little brother. Ever since then I’ve been grateful for my teammates, grateful for the coaching staff, the whole organization. It’s been great ever since I’ve been here just having the whole organization behind you and knowing that people believe in you. It brings your confidence to whole other level. I feel I’m playing my best right now.”

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have waived Matt Williams Jr. and signed forward/guard Derrick Jones Jr. to a two-way contract. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Jones Jr. appeared in 16 games (11 starts) with Phoenix’s G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns, this season and averaged 15.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.88 blocks, 1.8 assists, 1.19 steals and 29.1 minutes while shooting 48.5 percent from the field. He has also appeared in six games with Phoenix this season totaling nine points, four rebounds, four blocks, three assists and a steal in 33 minutes of action while shooting 50 percent (2-of-4) from the field and 83.3 percent (5-of-6) from the foul line.
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