Rumors: Elite dunker chose Mavericks over Eastern Conference contender in free agency

Dallas Mavericks v Chicago Bulls
Dallas Mavericks v Chicago Bulls / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks' work in free agency seems to be about finished, as it was reported that they are going to re-sign Markieff Morris and waive JaVale McGee.

The Mavs got much better this offseason, with one of their biggest improvements being their versatility on the wing.

Dallas started the offseason right on draft night as they drafted Olivier-Maxence Prosper to help on the wing. Just a few weeks later, they acquired Grant Williams through a sign and trade.

Rumors: Elite dunker chose Mavericks over Eastern Conference contender in free agency

Both of these players will be big helps defensively, but one of Dallas' most underrated moves this summer was signing Derrick Jones Jr.

The Mavs signed Jones Jr. to a one-year deal earlier this month, and it was reported yesterday that one of the high flier's former teams was in the mix to sign him.

NBA Insider Marc Stein reported (subscription required) that Jones Jr. considered signing a contract with the Miami Heat before signing with the Mavs. This would have been a big loss for Dallas, as Miami is an unspoken rival of Dallas, and the Mavs needed Jones Jr.'s defense badly.

Standing at 6-foot-5 with a 7-foot wingspan, Jones Jr. has the size and length to compete on the wing with most players. He brings his all on that end of the floor and is a great defender in open space. Before his signing, Dallas' bench lacked good defense.

The bench mostly consists of strong scorers such as Jaden Hardy, Seth Curry, and Tim Hardaway Jr., and now Jones Jr. can help get this unit to provide some defensive playmaking.

He is always flying around the floor and is an underrated shot-blocker. Last season for the Chicago Bulls, Jones Jr. averaged 5.0 points, 2.4 rebounds, 0.5 steals, and 0.6 blocks per game in just 14.0 minutes per game.

Hopefully, Jones Jr. can provide a similar defensive impact in Dallas and take responsibility for guarding the elite bench scorers that the Mavericks play next year.

We'll have you covered with all the latest news and rumors surrounding Derrick Jones Jr. and the Dallas Mavericks this summer, so stay tuned.