Five under-the-radar free agents for the Portland Trail Blazers to consider this offseason

Harry Giles, Sacramento Kings (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Harry Giles, Sacramento Kings (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Derrick Jones Jr., Miami Heat (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) /

4. Pick Analysis. F / G. . Derrick Jones Jr.. player. 110. Scouting Report

Current Situation: 2-year, $3.2 million

Offseason Contract: UFA in 2020 offseason

As we said in the opening: Giannis Antetokounmpo may never walk through the door for the Portland Trail Blazers, but he could at least have the key to allowing others to do so.

The one huge caveat with this one is that players of Derrick Jones Jr.’s caliber are at a premium in today’s NBA. 6-foot-6 players with 7-foot wingspans that force players to shoot 5.4 percent worse from the field and 6.3 percent worse from three aren’t a dime a dozen. That means it could be on the pricey side in bringing him in.

Jones also brings that nastiness that the Blazers have sorely lacked since allowing Al-Farouq Aminu and Moe Harkless to roam eastward this past offseason. Jones stepped to any challenge.

Oh, and he can step up and hit the 3-pointer. He’s hitting on just 27.0 percent from deep. Methinks that’s workable, considering he was up to 40.0 percent on 30 attempts in the month of February, and because he makes everything else at such a remarkable rate. Within 5-feet of the rim, Jones Jr. shoots 71.6 percent. That ranks No. 1 among SFs taking at least three per game, and No. 11 among raw “forwards” in general.

Here’s where it could get rocky. Barry Jackson of the Miami Heat offered this assessment: “The expectation—before this pandemic—was that Jones would seek a multiyear deal, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that the financial impact of the pandemic has left the Heat in no position to offer one, unless the second year is at the Heat’s option.” The Heat are in figurative penny-pitch mode, as it relates to saving for the Giannis sweepstakes.

The 23-year-old has gone on record in saying he wants to be a Miami Heat player for his entire career. But with his physical traits, he could see a market that reaches the $15-20 million rate, making that somewhat unlikely.

If Jones is willing to sacrifice culture over cash, and feels spurned by Miami, Portland should at the very least throw itself in the pot if the price is within reason.