Report: Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr. expected to be invited to dunk contest after Ja Morant declines
Miami Heat high-flyer Derrick Jones Jr. is expected to be invited to the dunk contest after Memphis Grizzlies rookie point guard Ja Morant decided to not participate, according to Ira Winderman of the Miami Sun-Sentinel.
With the Yahoo report of Ja Morant bypassing the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend, the expectation now, according to a source close to the situation, is a formal invitation to Derrick Jones Jr. will be extended shortly. He had not been informed before Morant's decision.
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) January 16, 2020
Derrick Jones Jr. can flat out jump out of the gym. He’s one of the best dunkers in the NBA and Heat fans would love to see him represent the franchise in Chicago during All-Star weekend.
Jones has appeared in 26 games for the Heat this season. He’s averaging 8.6 points and 4.2 rebounds while shooting 46.8 percent from the field, 23.2 percent from beyond the arc and 76.3 percent from the free-throw line.
More than three decades have passed since Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan defeated Atlanta Hawks great Dominique Wilkins in the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest in The Windy City. It would be cool to see Jones, along with Bulls guard Zach LaVine and Orlando Magic power forward Aaron Gordon, put on a show at the United Center in February for basketball fans around the world.
The Heat, led by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, are 28-12 on the season. They have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference standings and look like a serious contender for the championship.
Before the season started, most pundits had the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers meeting in the Eastern Conference Finals. It looks like the Heat will have something to say about that when it’s all said and done.