Derrick Jones Jr.'s time in Portland lasted all of one season.
Although it was brief, his time in Rip City was the opportunity he was looking for. He had signed a two-year, $18.9 million deal with the team during the 2020 free agency period.
In 58 regular-season games with the team, he started a career-high 43 games. When he was on the court Jones Jr. played solid defense and was respectable on offense.
The former slam dunk champion wanted a bigger opportunity and got it, but didn’t stand out. Come playoff time he was a non-factor as a starter and then fell completely out of the rotation.
It’s hard to see someone who went from a starter, getting key minutes, to not in the rotation come postseason return and be fine with it. Although it’s unknown of his emotions, the team made an upgrade over him when they acquired Norman Powell midway through the season.
Powell was inserted into the lineup and became an important contributor for the team on both sides of the ball, making Jones Jr. expendable.
Heading to Chicago, Jones Jr. is in a good situation as he’ll be the backup for DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine. A reserve role on a playoff team seems to be more suitable for him -- which is what he had in Miami.
While his time in a Blazers uniform was short, his high flying dunks will be missed. And at least one of him teammates, Jusuf Nurkic, will be missing his now former running mate.