Mar 7, 2012; New York, NY, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers forward Kevin Jones (5) reacts after scoring during the second half of the second round against the Connecticut Huskies at the Big East Tournament held at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
Despite having a foot injury that kept him from competing in the Cavaliers Summer League in Las Vegas, the Cavaliers have finally come to terms with undrafted free agent Kevin Jones according to his agent Bill Neff. The 6-foot-8, 260-pound power forward experienced a bone bruise in his left heel just before Summer League play started.
Even with the setback Jones was expected to be ready by the start of the Cavaliers 2012-13 season, and Cleveland had already expressed interest in signing Jones to a multi-year contract. The details of his signing on Monday have not yet been disclosed by the team, but his agent has confirmed that an agreement was made. The deal is said to be partially guaranteed.
Neff, who expressed disappointment that Jones wasn’t chosen in the 2012 NBA draft, was very happy with Cleveland’s decision to stick with Jones throughout his recovery process and had this to say:
The Cavaliers hung with Kevin during his (foot) injury, which is great. The injury set him back during the workout process. He is healthy now.
The four-year West Virginia Mountaineer and All-American his senior season finished second in voting for Big East Player of the Year despite leading the conference in points and rebounding. Jones averaged 19.9 points, 10.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks. He was a workhorse for the Mountaineers in his fourth year, clocking in over 38 minutes per game.
Jones also was pretty accurate from the field and charity stripe, shooting at a 50.9 percent clip and 78.0 percent from the free throw line in his final season.
I believe he is a very special talent and a great pickup by the Cavs’ front office to find an undrafted player who is both a prolific scorer and a great rebounder. He reminds me of a more physical and orthodox Antawn Jamison, who signed with the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason. Losing an offensive force like Jamison and picking up a mini-me in Jones as a free agent is a move that can’t hurt the Cavaliers.
Jones will have to prove himself during training camp in October if he wants a spot on the opening night roster. It will be tough because coaches will be getting their first real look at him during that period, but he still could benefit from some time in the Developmental League with the Canton Charge. He will be a valuable bench asset at some point during the season for Cleveland.
How do you think Kevin Jones will fare with the Cavaliers this season?