Cavs said to have interest in Heat free-agent-to-be Jones Jr.
Free agency is a little ways away, supposedly tipping off around the middle of October, but Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman is already eyeing help.
The latest name linked to the Cavs? NBA Slam Dunk competition champion Derrick Jones Jr., who has been with the Miami Heat since 2017.
“I expect Cleveland to take a long look at Miami’s Derrick Jones Jr., a high-flying 6-6 combo forward who is only 23, but the Cavs will have a lot of company,” wrote John Hollinger of The Athletic.
The Cavs finished with a record of 19-46, as they were among the eight teams not invited to finish the season at World Disney World in Orlando at the end of July.
They do, however, have some young talent around which to build in guards Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. It's hard to say if Cedi Osman is the long-term answer at small forward, though. And even if Osman does indeed to prove to be that man, the Cavs will always be on the lookout for young, athletic depth at the wing positions.
Jones Jr., due to be a free agent later this year, fits that description.
But signing him won't be easy.
“Even with a full MLE offer, I’m not sure the Cavs can win here," Hollinger wrote.
Jones went undrafted out of UNLV in 2015. He has also spent time with the Phoenix Suns and in the G League.
As Hollinger noted, Jones is considered one of the league's most electrifying dunkers. He is averaging 8.9 points and 5.2 rebounds in 51 appearances with the Heat this season.
Miami (41-24) held the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference when the NBA went on hiatus March 11.