Miami Heat: Here’s what you need to know about Derrick Jones Jr.

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 25: Derrick Jones Jr.
MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 25: Derrick Jones Jr. /

Derrick Jones Jr. is back with the Miami Heat baby.

It’s July 1 and that only means one thing to NBA fans: the official start of free agency.

And while most are still anxiously waiting to find out who LeBron James is going to sign with, a few notable deals have already been made.

Perhaps most surprising of all so far has been Paul George announcing he’s sticking with the Oklahoma City Thunder, agreeing on a four-year, $137 million deal, with Trevor Ariza going to the Phoenix Suns via a one-year, $15 million contract coming in close second.

So what about the Miami Heat?

Well, it was announced earlier today that Derrick Jones Jr. will be returning on a two-year contract worth about $1.5 million; an intelligent first move for the front office, given both Jones’ potential and affordability.

Although the signing may not shake up the league, Heat Nation should be excited over what’s to come. After all, they already got a chance to see just what the swingman has to offer, when he played 14 games for Miami last season, as part of a two-way deal.

During that time, he averaged a modest 3.7 points and 2.4 rebounds a game in 15.1 minutes of play, but still showcased his versatile skill-set.

Take his April 4, 2018 performance against the Atlanta Hawks for example. Jones finished with 10 points in 12 minutes, going 3-of-5 from the field. He also totaled four rebounds and one assist.

The 21-year-old is certainly useful on both ends of the floor, but currently, he’s most known for his hops. Jones has a pep in his step unlike any other, giving him the ultimate bounce. Which in turn leads to monster dunks, like the one he threw down on January 9, 2018 versus the Toronto Raptors.

Fans may also remember his and one dunk just a day later on January 10, 2018, while facing the Indiana Pacers.

The Pennsylvania-native, who went undrafted in 2016, previously played with the Suns in 2016-17. He saw time in 32 contests, starting eight, and averaged 5.3 points and 2.5 rebounds per matchup, in 17.0 minutes. His best game came on April 9, when he scored a career-high 15 points against the Dallas Mavericks, after recording his first double-digit scoring performance on March 28, versus the Hawks.

That year, he also spent time with Phoenix’s affiliate G-League team, the Northern Arizona Suns.

Jones also played for the Heat’s affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, this past season, splitting his time between the G-League and the NBA. He excelled tremendously with the Skyforce, averaging 17.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.8 blocks a contest.

On March 12, 2018, he totaled a whopping 33 points in 34 minutes, shooting 14-of-22 from the floor (including going 5-for-11 from downtown). He also finished the game with five rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocks.

This came after the young buck scored 32 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the field on November 28, 2017, alongside grabbing 12 rebounds.

It’s true that Miami still has plenty of work to do on its 2018-19 roster but fans should definitely be applauding president Pat Riley and company over this move.

Next: What's expected from the Miami Heat's free agency period?

The Miami Heat are bound to be high fliers next year with Jones as a part of the team.