James Jones said "I'll be back in Cleveland for sure"

LAS VEGAS – During these at times frenetic and expensive days of free agency for the Cavaliers, the one name seldom mentioned as been James Jones.

Well, he's a free agent, too. And he's coming back.

"I'll be back in Cleveland for sure," Jones told the Northeast Ohio Media Group Sunday in Las Vegas, on the red carpet for the first Players' Awards show.

"I've made it well known last year when I told them I was coming to help change the culture and do something special," Jones said. "It wasn't a situation where I was looking for a platform to move on. I was looking to be a part of something, to build something. And so I'm still in."

Jones, 34, is a free agent after playing out his one-year contract with the Cavs last season.

A 12-year veteran, he would qualify for a veteran's minimum salary of $1.5 million, which would be a $950,000 cap hit for Cleveland. He made the league-minimum $1.45 million last season.

A league source confirmed the Cavs would re-sign Jones. He's been a friend and teammate to LeBron James dating back at least to 2010, during James' first season in Miami.

The 6-8 forward averaged 4.4 points in 11.7 minutes per game during the regular season, and kept his scoring average through increased playing time during the playoffs.

"Last year was big for me in establishing who I am and defining myself," Jones said. "So, I'm excited about the things I've worked on this summer, and they'll see a different James Jones next year for sure."

The Cavaliers are negotiating with restricted free agent Tristan Thompson on a long-term contract, and may bring back J.R. Smith. The team is also considering signing Russian center Sasha Kaun.

"Those are conversations that are always tough to have," Jones said, speaking about Smith and Thompson. "This is the part of the business that requires a lot of thought and requires a lot of work. I'm hopeful we'll get it done. They're a big part of what we've done and we'll continue to do."

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