Justise Winslow Says Derrick Jones Jr. Deserves Big Contract: ‘Show Him the Money’

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If there’s one good thing that resulted from Justise Winslow’s back injury, it’s the development of Derrick Jones Jr.

Now back in the Miami Heat lineup after missing 15 games, Winslow believes Jones deserves to get a big contract once his existing deal expires in the offseason.

“Oh, he hooping,” Winslow said of his teammate who will become a free agent in the offseason. “Pay that man. Pay him. Show him the money.

“Nah, but he’s a great player. He’s really built for this league, with his versatility, and the way he’s able to stretch the floor now. He’s also a lob threat. That’s just the brink of iceberg for him. He can really handle the ball and attack. But that’ll continue to come and grow.”

Winslow’s endorsement of Jones is a positive sign of the Heat locker room’s healthy environment.

Since Dec. 6 when Winslow was sidelined, Jones has been averaging 10.9 points 4.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 30.4 minutes per game. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra’s increased confidence in the 6-foot-6 forward has given Jones the playing time he needs to showcase his ever-expanding game.

Jones signed a two-year, $3.1 million contract with the Heat in 2018. The franchise may ultimately listen to Winslow’s suggestion and offer Jones a heftier paycheck this summer if he continues to display his well-rounded game in the months ahead.

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Omar is a freelance writer who has followed the NBA for more than 30 years. Prior to the Internet, he devoured every reading material he could find on the game from newspaper articles to books and magazines. He became a Heat fan the moment they acquired Tim Hardaway and his killer crossover, and lamented not seeing him and Alonzo Mourning win a championship. Seeing Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh play in Miami was a surreal moment for him and more so after they validated the Decision with back-to-back championships. He is ecstatic to cover Miami basketball for Heat Nation.