The Miami Heat are rebuilding and there is no telling if Derrick Jones Jr. will be part of those plans. The 23-year-old forward has been one of the silent contributors for the club last season. However, he barely saw action in the NBA playoffs, something likely because he suffered an injury in the first round.
Though Jones was hardly felt in the NBA Finals tiff against the Los Angeles Lakers, he built a following when he won the 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. For some players, that is a way to get attention. But for the 6-foot-6 forward, he has proven that he can do more than slam the ball hard into the ring.
Already proving that he is athletic, Jones also made a name for himself being one of the Heat’s top defenders. His numbers last season may hardly be impressive although he has time to evolve. Jones averaged 8.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 23.3 minutes of action in 59 games.
Should we re-sign Derrick Jones Jr? pic.twitter.com/iFiJN9aFeH — Heat Nation (@HeatNationCom) October 20, 2020
Jones will be among the curious unrestricted free agents this summer though the Heat could always re-sign him. As of this writing, nothing has come close to that. At least three teams have been linked to the Pennsylvania native. These are the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons. These are three teams that are rebuilding and Jones could be a sensible addition, the Miami Herald reported.
Joining the Hawks could be ideal, giving Jones a chance to beef up the defensive end. He will also get the chance to work with Trae Young who is expected to be the focal point of offense anew.
With the Bulls, he would become another slam dunk champion to join the mix. Zach LaVine has won it twice while Michael Jordan has been known to start his career with his artistic dunks. They are a team that has a new head coach and Jones could fit in well with Billy Donovan’s plans. For the Pistons are a team in need of youth, making Jones a logical addition.
Of these three teams, the Bulls are looming as the logical place to land. All this should be taken with a grain of salt for now with no official word on what the future holds for the 23-year-old forward.
The Heat will rebuild and keeping Jones makes sense. With proven young stars in the mix, there is no question Erik Spoelstra may still want him around. But if Miami opts to move in a different direction, Jones does have options for the 2020-21 season.