Heat news: Derrick Jones Jr. gets contract fully guaranteed for 2019-20
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Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr. gets contract fully guaranteed for 2019-20

Derrick Jones Jr., Heat

The Miami Heat decided to award forward Derrick Jones Jr. a fully guaranteed contract instead of waiving the three-year veteran. Per Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald, the UNLV product will make $1.6 million next season, and all of it became guaranteed as of Thursday.

Jones was a key piece of the Heat rotation last year. He played 60 games for Miami and started 14 of them. In 19.2 minutes per game, he averaged 7.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks per game while shooting 49.4 percent from the field and 30.8 percent from 3.

The athletic forward is best known for his breathtaking dunks. He is one of the highest-flying players in the league, hence the nickname “Airplane Mode Jones.” He participated in the 2017 Slam Dunk Contest but finished as the runner-up to Glenn Robinson III.

Besides being an entertaining dunker, Jones has become a solid rotation piece. He has improved his 3-point shot, and his length allows him to bother wings along the perimeter. While he will never be an excellent interior defender, his bounce produces some impressive blocks from time to time.

Overall, it makes sense for Miami to bring Jones back for at least one more season. The 22-year-old still has plenty of growth to do, and the Heat are banking on the fact that he takes a step in advancing his game this year.

In addition to giving Jones a full guarantee, Miami is also keeping Kendrick Nunn for now. Nunn’s $50,000 guarantee has now increased to $150,000. That jumps to $450,000 if he makes the final roster and goes to a full $1.4 million guarantee if he’s still on the team past Jan. 10.