Derrick Jones Jr. is officially in the 2017 NBA Dunk Contest, and it’s likely NBA fans — heck, even Suns fans — are wondering one thing: “Who?”
The 19-year-old rookie out of UNLV has only played 11 minutes of NBA action in three games as he’s bounced between Phoenix and the D-League’s Northern Arizona Suns. With the D-League squad, the 6-foot-7, 190-pounder is averaging 15 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.
In the dunk contest, which will take place on Saturday, Feb. 18, he joins last year’s runner-up, Aaron Gordon of the Magic, along with the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and the Pacers’ Glenn Robinson III.
But there’s a reason the Suns signed the undrafted rookie, who showed flashes of defensive potential in his one year cut short at UNLV.
He’s also showed highlight-reel dunking abilities in the past few years to warrant his invite to the dunk contest.
Here is one person’s subjective list of his top dunks.
It didn’t take long for Jones to make eyes widen. His second dunk in his D-League debut showed that the experienced dunk contest champion knows how to put on a show in games — and over the top of opponents.
Here, Jones sneaks along the weakside baseline to grab a rebound over a would-be rebounder who didn’t see him coming.
Jones makes a great cut down the middle of the lane as his teammate drives, and even though a defender is seemingly in position to defend a shot, the fact he’s cemented to the floor as Jones gets elevation so quickly makes that a pointless matter.
— UNLV Basketball (@TheRunninRebels) November 17, 2015
Now we’re in NSFW territory. Jones’ best dunk during his season at UNLV came against a little-known school called New Mexico Highlands University. We know them now … for getting dunked on.
And we give you the best in-game Derrick Jones dunk. It’s on top of a contesting defender, off a pretty bad pass (if this weren’t Derrick Jones Jr. we’re talking about), shows his crazy elevation and was finished off with his right hand. He’s a lefty.
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