Jones announced Wednesday that he has retired from professional basketball and will join the Suns to serve as the team's the vice president of basketball operations, Brian Windhorst of ESPN reports. Jones largely made a 14-year career out of being a three-point marksman, finishing with a 40.1 percent mark from distance while averaging 5.2 points per game. Arguably his best season as a player came during the 2005-06 season with Phoenix, when he averaged 9.3 points across 23.6 minutes per game. He was also lauded for his positive locker-room presence and was a favorite teammate of LeBron James, who he spent the last seven seasons with in either Miami and Cleveland. Jones will take what he learned from the court and locker room and try and apply those skills to a front-office position.
Jones will move back to the bench for Monday's game against the Heat, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Jones received the starting nod on Saturday with LeBron James (rest) and Kyrie Irving (rest) taking the night off, but with both James and Irving back in action Monday, Jones will revert to his usual bench role.
Jones will start at power forward in Saturday's tilt against the Heat, Dave McMenamin of ESPN reports. Jones will be making his second start of the season for Cleveland. He's averaging just 3.0 points and 0.6 rebounds in his 7.2 minutes per game this season, but he'll likely receive a larger minute load while in the starting lineup.
Jones contributed 14 points (5-6 FG, 4-5 3Pt), two rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block over 23 minutes in Saturday's 117-99 loss to the Bulls. With LeBron James (illness) missing Saturday's contest, Jones saw his most extensive allotment of playing time since Dec. 14. He compiled a serviceable stat line in relatively short order thanks to his trademark three-point marksmanship, equaling his second-best scoring total of the season in the process. Despite the encouraging outing, Jones' minutes are likely to be right back in the single digits if James returns Monday against the Bucks.
Coach Tyronn Lue indicated Tuesday that Jones could end up seeing some time as the starting power forward while Kevin Love (love) remains out for the next six weeks, Cavaliers radio play-by-play broadcaster John Michael reports. Lue has already named Channing Frye as the starter at the position for Tuesday's game against the Timberwolves, but it appears the Cavs may opt to alter their lineup game to game based on matchups during Love's absence. Even if Jones finds his way into the starting lineup when the Cavs face smaller teams, he's unlikely to see major minutes or usage in those scenarios. The 36-year-old is averaging 2.8 points in 6.9 minutes per game over 33 appearances this season and would likely be little more than a placeholder in the starting five.
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