Jones signed a one-year, $2 million deal with Qingdao of the Chinese Basketball Association on Monday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Jones had a nice run with the Pelicans last season, appearing in 51 games and making 12 starts before being waived after the team acquired DeMarcus Cousins from Sacramento. In New Orleans, Jones averaged 11.5 points and 5.9 rebounds in just under 25 minutes per game, but he was unable to parlay that into a consistent role with Milwaukee, by whom he was claimed off waivers in March. Jones saw action in only three games for the Bucks and unceremoniously entered the summer as an unrestricted free agent. While he likely would have been able to make an NBA roster as a near-minimum player, the 25-year-old will instead head overseas, rather than wait out the dog days of NBA free agency. Considering the CBA regular season ends in mid-February, it's possible Jones could sign with an NBA team for the final few months of the season, something that's been done by several players, including Norris Cole and Michael Beasley, in recent years.
In somewhat of a surprising decision, the Bucks will part ways with Jones less than two weeks before the end of the regular season. The team signed Jones after he was waived by New Orleans in late-February, but he failed to make an impact in Milwaukee, appearing in just three games and logging six total minutes. The 25-year-old, who has spent time with the Rockets, Pelicans and Bucks in the last calendar year, will likely turn his focus toward finding a new, more-permanent home this summer.
Jones (coach's decision) failed to play in Monday's 112-98 win over the 76ers.
It was expected that after signing with the team Saturday, Jones would immediately factor into the Bucks' rotation plans with Jabari Parker (knee) out for the season and Michael Beasley (knee) still sidelined, but apparently coach Jason Kidd isn't comfortable with using the big man just yet. Though the Bucks were leading by 23 points entering the fourth quarter, Kidd was reluctant to turn to Jones, leaning more heavily on Mirza Teletovic instead. While Jones shouldn't be written off entirely in deeper formats, those in leagues with active waiver wires won't need to grow too attached to him if his role fails to grow in the Bucks' subsequent contests.
Jones (coach's decision) didn't see the floor in Saturday's 101-94 win over the Raptors.
Though Jones agreed in principle to a contract with the Bucks for the remainder of the season days earlier, he wasn't officially added to the roster until Saturday, when 10-day signee Axel Toupane's contract expired. Since Jones hadn't practiced with the team yet, coach Jason Kidd was reluctant to throw him into the rotation Saturday, but look for Jones to make his team debut in Monday's game against the 76ers. With the Bucks in need of more scoring in the frontcourt with Jabari Parker (knee) out for the season and Michael Beasley (knee) unlikely to be available for the contest, Jones could claim a sizable role right away.
Jones won't be available for Friday's game against the Clippers, Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Though he agreed to a contract with the Bucks on Thursday, Jones isn't expected to join his new team until Saturday, when he'll potentially make his debut against the Raptors in the second game of the team's back-to-back set. The absences of Jabari Parker (knee) and Michael Beasley (knee) should open up playing time for Jones at power forward right away, allowing Giannis Antetokounmpo to transition back to more of a backcourt role. The 25-year-old has shown promising upside in the past during his time with the Rockets and averaged 11.5 points and 5.9 rebounds in 24.8 minutes per game with the Pelicans earlier this season, so he makes for an intriguing speculative pickup in deeper leagues.
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