There hasn’t been an invitation to this year’s Slam Dunk Contest yet, but Derrick Jones Jr.’s athleticism has earned him something else.
A spot in the Heat’s rotation.
After starting the season as a situational player, Jones has become a consistent part of Miami’s rotation because of his athleticism and versatility on both ends of the court. Entering Tuesday’s contest against the Bucks that kicks off a four-game trip for the Heat (21-20), the 6-foot-7 forward has played in 17 of the past 18 games.
Jones, a 21-year-old who went undrafted out of UNLV in 2016, has found a skill he can excel with the help of his leaping ability and persistence. Nicknamed “Airplane Mode” because of his high-flying game, Jones has turned himself into one of the NBA’s top offensive rebounders at his position.