The Mavericks continued their merry-go-round treatment of the back-end of their roster with a couple of moves Wednesday afternoon. They waived guard Kyle Collinsworth, who was signed to a two-way contract off the Texas Legends last month, and claimed wing Jalen Jones off waivers. Jones was playing for the Legends as well but was on a two-way contract with the New Orleans Pelicans, one just a handful of NBA teams without a G-League affiliate.
Since going undrafted in 2016 out of Texas A&M, Jalen Jones has appeared in 63 G-League games between this season and last. He has averaged over 20 points and 8 rebounds per game. Since being acquired by the Texas Legends last month, he has averaged 16.2 points over the course of five games.
The six-foot-seven Jones has played in four NBA games this season with New Orleans and averaged just under five minutes a game in his appearances.
It has definitely been a bit of a hectic start to a professional career for Jones, with stints with the Celtics, Maine Red Claws, Pelicans, and Greensboro Swarm before his time the Legends and now the Mavericks. Jones shared his thoughts about the move in a simple tweet Wednesday afternoon.
— Jalen Jones (@JalenJones_21) January 10, 2018
Playing basketball in the DFW area is definitely something Jones has done plenty of before. The 24-year-old graduated from Kimball High School in Dallas and played for the SMU Mustangs his first two college seasons before transferring to Texas A&M to finish his college career. I had a chance to speak with Jalen after the Legends game on Saturday night in Frisco and got his thoughts on being back in DFW and other aspects of his career so far.
“I have a lot of great memories here in Dallas in high school and college,” Jones said of his return to the familiar place. “It feels good to be back in front of family and friends. I’m just making the most of it.”
During his time at SMU, Jones played his freshman season for coach Matt Doherty and his sophomore year under legendary coach Larry Brown.
“I learned a lot from those coaches. Larry Brown is a hall of famer and Matt Doherty was Coach of the Year in college (for the University of North Carolina in 2001), so those guys taught me a lot. I’m thankful for that.”
When asked about his decision to transfer to Texas A&M following his sophomore season, Jones simply said he saw it as “a better fit and a better situation for my future.”
After going undrafted in 2016, Jones played in the Summer League with the Toronto Raptors and eventually got invited to training camp with the Boston Celtics. After appearing in two preseason games, he was waived and eventually landed on Boston’s G-League affiliate: the Maine Red Claws. When asked who has had the biggest influence on him in the pros so far, Jones didn’t hesitate to say it was his coach in Maine: Scott Morrison.
“He taught me how to be a pro and gave me a lot of confidence. He helped me get to where I am today,” Jones said of his former coach that has since been promoted to as assistant coaching role on Brad Stevens’ staff with the Boston Celtics.
Even though it hasn’t been the easiest journey so far, Jones clearly has a good head on his shoulders and a great support system, there were at least five or six family members waiting for him courtside following his first game at home with the Legends last Friday, to help him make the most of his new opportunity in Dallas. He knows to appreciate every new opportunity and every chance he gets to step on the court.
“You never know when the last time you play this game will be. Every time I play, I go all out and just leave it all out there. Hard work will always equal success.”
Hopefully Jones’ hard work to this point will lead to a role that sticks here in Dallas.
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