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Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr. reveals plans for NBA restart, free agency

High-flyer Derrick Jones Jr. becomes an unrestricted free agent whenever the 2020 offseason period begins, and the lefty is hoping to re-sign with the Miami Heat.

During an interview with Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald, Jones talked about why he wants to re-sign with the Heat and his thought process going into the “bubble” games down in Orlando, Florida:

“Honestly, I haven’t been thinking about it much,” Derrick Jones Jr. said to the Miami Herald of becoming an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

“I just focus on the task at hand. My task at hand is to make the playoffs this season, and we did it. My next task is to make it as far as we can in the playoffs and try to contend for a title. That’s what I got on my mind right now, and that’s what I’m thinking about right now. When that time comes for free agency, that’s honestly when I’m probably going to think about it.”

Jones has been linked to the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers in free agency. We’ll see if the Pennsylvania native and Heat can agree to a new deal whenever free agency starts. He would certainly like to stay in South Beach:

“The team gave me my first opportunity really in the NBA,” Jones said when asked why he hopes to re-sign with Miami. “When I first came here on my two-way [contract], coach [Erik Spoelstra] threw me in the fire a lot. … He just always gave me a shot, and I just had to take full advantage of every opportunity he gave me.

“We just built that relationship throughout my years here. I feel strong about the organization, the team, everything that they’re doing. The way that my game has developed from when I first came here to now is just like a big difference. I just want to keep building on that and I think we can do something special.”

For now, as he says, Jones is focused on the task at hand. Before the 2019-20 season was suspended in March, the Heat racked up 41 wins. Miami is in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings and has already clinched a playoff spot for the 2020 postseason.

Jones, who began his NBA career with the Phoenix Suns, was averaging 8.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists for the Heat in 51 games prior to Rudy Gobert’s positive COVID-19 test. The 23-year-old was also shooting 51.4 percent from the field, 27.0 percent from beyond the arc and 77.9 percent from the free-throw line.

The Heat missed the playoffs in 2018-19, so fans in South Beach are excited to see their favorite basketball team competing in the postseason again. Once the 2020 playoffs start, the Heat will ultimately go as far as All-Stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo can take them.