Heat Rumors: Derrick Jones Jr. Expected to Draw Interest from Bulls, Hawks, More

Jenna CiccotelliContributor IIIOctober 19, 2020

Miami Heat's Derrick Jones Jr. dunks against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. will enter free agency this offseason, and while there has been no urgency from Miami to sign him, there are a number of teams that may be interested in 2020 Slam Dunk contest champion.

According to the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson, the Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, and Atlanta Hawks "are among the teams expected to have interest."

In his fourth season in the league, Jones averaged a career-high 23.3 minutes after he returned to the team following injuries to his groin and hip. Per Jackson, Jones appeared in every game for the Heat after Dec. 1, posting an average of 8.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, and a steal in 59 total appearances. 

Despite a strong regular season, Jones played double-digit minutes in just three games during the Heat's run to the NBA Finals, and he was a healthy scratch in two of those championship games. He had just 10 total minutes in the Lakers' series, and averaged 6.5 minutes and 1.5 points throughout the playoffs.

Jackson reported that Jones had physical and mental setbacks during the pandemic, when he lost seven pounds after his personal chef left the area, and he was also diagnosed with COVID-19 back in June. During the Heat's final seeding round game, he sprained his neck and was stretchered off of the court, and Jackson reports he also sprained his ankle during the postseason series with the Indiana Pacers. 

Through his two seasons in South Florida, Jones has provided consistency on the court for the Heat. He averaged 19.2 minutes through a career-high 60 games in 2018-19, averaging 7.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 0.8 assists. 

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The teams that are interested see athletic ability and the promise of offensive development in Jones, according to Jackson, who also reported that if the Heat were to re-sign him, "it assuredly would be only on a one-year deal."