Miami Heat's Derrick Jones Jr. Says He Wants to Be Defensive Player of the Year - Heat Nation

Miami Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr. Says He Wants to Be Defensive Player of the Year

Blake Griffin and Derrick Jones Jr. Jasen Vinlove / USA TODAY Sports

With Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade ending his storybook career this past season, the pages will now turn to the team’s youngsters to carry the torch and revitalize the franchise.

One of those young pieces, Derrick Jones Jr., is setting his sights high as he aims to one day be the Defensive Player of the Year.

Jones, 22, experienced a renaissance last year with the Heat after a subpar start to his career in Phoenix.

The 6-foot-7 pogo stick put up a career-high 7.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in 19.2 minutes per game last season. Despite being known for his thunderous dunks, Jones blossomed into a solid rotational player and contributor off the bench for the Heat.

With the forward expected to get more playing next time next season, he is working on enhancing and expanding his game. While swipes and rejections haven’t been the primary weapons of Jones’ arsenal, the three-year pro will get plenty of time to show off his defensive prowess next season.

The high-flyer has career averages of 5.8 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.

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