According to Shams Charania of The Atheltic, free-agent forward Derrick Jones Jr. has agreed to a one-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks. The contract terms haven’t been reported yet, but one can assume that the deal is for close to the veteran minimum, given the Mavericks’ salary cap situation.
Jones Jr. is a 6’6” forward with a 7’0” wingspan entering his seventh NBA season. Although it seems like he’s been around for a while, he’s still just 26 years of age. Jones Jr. is a defensive-minded player with supreme athleticism, and the addition of him to the roster fits with the theme of the Mavericks’ offseason. They are getting younger, bigger, more athletic, and better on defense.
The Mavericks have been linked to Jones Jr. in the past. Fans may recall the failed Goran Dragic trade of the infamous 2019 offseason when a reported agreement between Dallas and Miami fell through because the Heat refused to include Jones Jr. in the deal. Four years later, the Mavericks (as they so often do) finally got their man.
Jones Jr.’s offense leaves a lot to be desired. He is the kind of “3-and-D” player where the “three” is very much more of an idea than a reality. Jones Jr. averaged 5.0 points and 2.4 rebounds per-game in 64 appearances with the Bulls last season, shooting 50% from the floor and 33.8% from three. That three-point percentage was on just 1.3 attempts per-game. For his career, Jones Jr. is a 30.4% three-point shooter. So offense is definitely not his calling card.
But the Mavericks needed another playable wing, and Jones Jr. should have enough juice to be that. He also moonlights as a small-ball center, offering some versatility, even though this roster doesn’t really need more medicore fives. At the very least, Jones Jr. is another warm body that should benefit from playing alongside Luka Doncic. He’ll contribute to what should be an improved defense and throw down the occasional insane highlight.