Three years ago, Derrick Jones Jr. was making the league minimum while playing on a two-year contract with the Miami Heat.
On Friday, he cashed in for all his hard work. Jones left Miami to sign a two-year, $19-million contract with the Portland Trail Blazers. Last season he made $1.6 million with the Heat.
Jones is yet another of Miami’s G League prospect to rotation player success stories. He went undrafted out of UNLV before gaining notice while playing for Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Heat’s minor league affiliate. He was called up in December of 2017 and made an immediate impact.
He averaged 7.3 points and 3.8 rebounds in his three seasons with the Heat. Last year the high-flying forward won the slam dunk contest during NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago. He made a ascension with the Heat as Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson and Duncan Robinson, who all started in the G League.
Robinson set the Heat’s single-season record for 3-pointer made last season while starting 68 games.
Jones was part the Heat’s first day of free agency that included re-signing guard Goran Dragic and center Meyers Leonard. Their returns means Miami will have most of the core back from last year’s team that lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.
“I’d like to run this back,” Heat team president Pat Riley said recently
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