10 former Portland Trail Blazers that might surprise you

Mo Williams, Thomas Robinson, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Mo Williams, Thomas Robinson, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Fred Jones, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /

No. 4: Fred Jones (2006-07)

Statistics: 4.8 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists on 38.4 percent shooting

Try to search up Fred Jones highlights online, and odds are, that list begins with the 2004 Slam Dunk Contest, and ends with… well, that 2004 Slam Dunk Contest. It isn’t that Jones didn’t do much else — he scored over 3,000 points, and was a viable contributor to those mid-2000s Indiana Pacers teams that came oh-so-close to glory — but that was the moment that put him on the worldwide map.

After the Pacers elected to retool, Jones spent the final 185 games on four different franchises. Along the way, he was a walking seven points per game, mixing in highlight dunks with a decent 3-point shooting touch. As the Blazers were beginning the Brandon Roy / LaMarcus Aldridge regime, they were hoping to get their dose of that off the bench.

At the trade deadline in 2007, the Portland Trail Blazers sent Juan Dixon to Toronto, and in return, took the 2004 Slam Dunk Contest champion, citing Jones’ connections to Oregon, talent, and character off-the-court as the reason for the deal. Jones played the final 24 games of the season for Portland, putting up decent numbers given the minutes, 4.8 points and 2.2 assists on 38.4 percent shooting.

Jones went on to have two solid seasons for both the Knicks and Clippers to close out a eight-year career.

Because Jones’ tenure in Portland was so short, it’s probably easy to forget it. But, he serves as a footnote for what the Blazers’ future would become. He was a part of the Zach Randolph trade that led to a culture change in Portland. As Kerry Eggers brought out in his book, Jail Blazers: How the Blazers Became the Bad Boys of Basketball, the 2006-07 Trail Blazers became the youngest team in basketball, and had not had a single arrest that next season. Thankfully, each party involved found a happy ending.