3 ways suggested free agency target Derrick Jones Jr. could help Cavs

Miami Heat wing Derrick Jones Jr. reacts in-game. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Miami Heat wing Derrick Jones Jr. reacts in-game. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Derrick Jones Jr., Cleveland Cavaliers
Miami Heat wing Derrick Jones Jr. blocks a shot. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Cavaliers’ first reason for targeting Jones: Wing defense

Jones is a fluid athlete on the wing, and though he has help around him in very impressive defenders such as Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kendrick Nunn, Jones’ 7-foot wingspan and lateral quickness, and good anticipation have enabled him to be a plus defender.

Jones, even at 6-foot-6, is more than capable of being a competent defender on-ball against starting caliber 3’s, sits and slides well to mirror ball-handlers, and his length and timing allows him to recover.

That would come in handy much more in meaningful minutes, and be a welcomed addition on the wing defensively over Cedi Osman, who has struggled mightily due to a lack of lateral quickness and he has problems staying with drivers. Jones’ presence could fill in well against opposing 2’s and/or be a nice pairing alongside Darius Garland or Collin Sexton in that regard, too.

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Jones also has averaged 1.6 steals per-36 minutes, per Basketball Reference, and his feel off-ball stands out, along with his again, fluidity, in getting through screens to contest and really bother his primary matchups via catch-and-shoots/and against cutters.

Plus, even while only playing 24.5 minutes per game thus far this season, Jones has averaged a very healthy 0.7 blocks per game.

Overall, his wing defensive presence could provide quite an impact for the Cavs next season if they looked to sign him. Not to mention, Jones has done a commendable job a bit when locked into primary matchups against 4’s, too.

Secondly, we’ll hit on how Jones could help the Cavaliers in settled offense.