Free Agent Derrick Jones Jr. Brings His Defense To Western Contender

After seeing his minutes dwindle with the Chicago Bulls these past two seasons, Derrick Jones Jr. wanted a better opportunity. Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks had spent the summer pledging to improve their defense, as the one area of the team that most needed a boost. On Wednesday, they took a good step towards that with the signing of Jones. Jr.

It's a one year, fully guaranteed deal for the 7-year veteran forward, according to insider Shams Charania.

In Chicago Jones's minutes in the rotation were somewhat limited compared to his previous three years with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Miami Heat. 

The defensive stalwart is 6'6" but with a 7-foot wingspan and great athletic ability, all of which allows him to cover multiple positions effectively. Not to mention his help defense around the rim, as witnessed here:

Jones declined his player option worth $3.3M after the season to become a free agent, leaving the Bulls in shock, as he had declared earlier that he would return. 

"I'm locked in for two years. I didn't sign for two years for no reason. So I'm here for two years," Jones had said back in April"I just gotta sit down with my agent and talk to him, figure things out. But I don't see why not. I got no other plans, yet."

His plans now are to join forces with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving and deliver some much needed help on the defensive side of the ball for the Mavs in Big D. 

Jones averaged 5.0 points and 2.4 rebounds last season with the Bulls in just 14 minutes per game. For his career, he's posted 6.3 points and 3.2 rebounds in nearly 19 minutes per contest.

Photo: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports