DeQuan Jones

Hawks signing DeQuan Jones

The Hawks need help on the wing.

Kyle Korver returns as a strong starter, but DeMarre Carroll signed with the Raptors, and Thabo Sefolosha is out who knows how long?

Kent Bazemore will play a bigger role. Atlanta also traded for Tim Hardaway Jr. and signed Justin Holiday.

That’s still not enough, though.

So, the Hawks are creating a training-camp battle for wing depth between Jason Richardson, Lamar Patterson, Terran Petteway. Add DeQuan Jones to the fray.
Shams Charania of RealGM:

Petteway is the only one of the four with a guarantee, and that’s for just $75,000. This is a fairly even race.

Jones went undrafted in 2012 out of Miami and spent the next season in the rotation of a 62-loss Magic team. He hasn’t been in the NBA since.

At 6-foot-8, Jones has the size, strength and athleticism to defend well. But he needs to show he’ll actually do it to make the regular-season roster.

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DeQuan Jones Headed Overseas

With the NBA offseason slowly hitting it’s dog days, and most free agents finding homes, we see some players trying to find their way onto an NBA roster shift their focus to going overseas.

DeQuan Jones: Cantu, Italy

The two names that jump off the page right away are DeQuan Jones and Romero Osby. Jones played for the Magic during his rookie season in 2012, appearing in 63 games, scoring 3.7 points and grabbing 1.7 rebounds per game in 12.7 minutes of action. Jones was also on the Magic’s Summer League roster in 2013, and was invited to camp that same year, but was one of four cut in favor of big man Solomon Jones. 

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John Salmons agrees to one-year deal to join the New Orleans Pelicans

While center Omer Asik is prominently in the New Orleans Pelicans' plans to help strengthen their frontcourt for this upcoming season, small forward Omri Casspi apparently is not.

That's because free agent small forward John Salmons agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal on Monday to join the Pelicans, a league source confirmed.
It appeared on Sunday, the Pelicans had fulfilled their need at small forward after reaching an agreement in a three-team trade to acquire center Asik and Casspi from the Houston Rockets.

But a league source said Monday that Casspi will ''most likely'' be waived after the NBA approves the trade involving the Pelicans, Rockets and Washington Wizards.

New Orleans desires a proven veteran and the 34-year-old Salmons has been in the league since 2002-03 and has a career 9.4 scoring average. He began his career with the Philadelphia 76ers, but has played for the Chicago Bulls, Sacramento Kings, Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors.

This past season, he played in 60 games for the Raptors and averaged 5.0 points and 2.0 rebounds. Salmons, 6-6, 207 pounds, has not been in a starting role since the 2012-13 season when he started 72 of 76 games for the Kings and averaged 8.8 points.

Salmon's best season came in 2009-10 after he was traded by the Chicago Bulls to the Milwaukee Bucks. In the final 30 games, which he started 28, Salmons averaged 19.9 points.

Last week, the Atlanta Hawks put Salmons on waivers to clear salary cap space after acquiring him a week earlier from the Raptors in a trade.

Despite signing Salmons, the Pelicans could still look to fill the backup small forward spot with a player on their summer league roster. Former NBA veteran Josh Howard, DeQuan Jones, James Southerland and Courtney Fells are all vying for minutes this week.

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NBA Summer League proCanes

Orlando Summer League: 
Trey McKinney Jones – Miami Heat
DeQuan Jones – Indiana Pacers

Las Vegas Summer League:
Rion Brown – Charlotte Hornets
Kenny Kadji – Milwaukee Bucks
Shane Larkin – New York Knicks
DeQuan Jones – New Orleans Pelicans
Trey McKinney Jones – Miami Heat
Durand Scott – San Antonio Spurs

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DeQuan Jones Scores Big

Mo Charlo scored 22 points and Brandon Heath added 18 as the Reno Bighorns held off the Bakersfield Jam for a 103-96 win on Sunday at the Reno Events Center.

DeQuan Jones had 17 points for the Bighorns and Mickell Gladness finished with a double-double. The Bighorns shot 50 percent from the field, 50 percent from beyond the arc and 73 percent from the charity stripe.

Bakersfield's Dennis Schroder had a team-high 21 points and seven assists. Rudy Gobert tallied 14 rebounds, giving the Jam the advantage on the boards (46-36).

Although there were 13 lead changes throughout, Reno led for the majority of the game. The teams were tied at 7:16 in the fourth quarter, but the Bighorns pulled away from the Jam with a 6-0 run.

The win was Reno’s second of the weekend against Bakersfield, following a 105-98 tilt on Saturday.

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Kings Waive DeQuan Jones

Sacramento has released camp invitees DeQuan Jones and Brandon Heath.

Jones, 23, recorded averages of 3.7 PPG, 1.7 RPG, and an 8.4 PER as an undrafted rookie last season for the Magic. Heath, who went undrafted out of San Diego State in 2007, played for Lukoil Academic in Bulgaria in 2012/13, averaging 12.0 PPG and 4.7 APG in 39 contests. Both players appeared very briefly in a single preseason game for the Kings.

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Kings sign DeQuan Jones for training camp

The Kings have signed forward DeQuan Jones to a contract for training camp.

Training camp begins Oct. 1 in Santa Barbara.

Jones (6-8, 221) spent his rookie season with the Orlando Magic, appearing in 63 games last season. He averaged 3.7 points in 12.7 minutes per game after playing at the University of Miami.

The Kings already have 14 guaranteed contracts for the 2013-14 season. Ideally the 15th spot would remain unfilled to provide flexibility for possible transactions during the season.

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Dequan Jones takes shot at NCAA after Manziel ruling

Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel got a half's worth of a suspension handed down to him Wednesday, an agreement Texas A&M and the NCAA reached because the star quarterback violated NCAA bylaw by signing autographs.

Manziel will sit out the first half of the Aggies' opener against Rice Saturday, a mere slap on the wrist even though Manziel is accused of actually selling his signature to memorabilia dealers.

Not everyone seemed happy for Manziel -- including former Hurricanes basketball star Dequan Jones.

Jones was forced to sit out 11 games his senior year as part of the Nevin Shapiro booster investigation. Shapiro claimed that former UM assistant Jake Morton asked Shapiro for $10,000 to secure Jones, then a recruit. Jones was allowed to return to action after the NCAA couldn’t find evidence against him.

Jones, now in his second year with the Orlando Magic, took to Twitter to express his thoughts on how how quickly the Manziel mess was worked out.


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DeQuan Jones won't receive qualifying offer

DeQuan Jones will not receive a qualifying offer from the Magic and will become an unrestricted free agent.

He never really had a chance with the Magic selecting Victor Oladipo at two. Jones saw 17 starts last season, but played just 12.7 minutes per game in his rookie campaign. He'll play in summer league with the Magic and could catch on with another team or the Magic could even re-sign him.

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Magic discover valuable asset in undrafted DeQuan Jones

ORLANDO, Fla. -- With all the attention paid last week to where the Orlando Magic and 13 other teams will be picking next month, it is worth remembering that there is a place in the NBA for the undrafted free agent.

DeQuan Jones is an example of that.

Despite starting in only two games as a senior at the University of Miami and never averaging as much as six points a contest in any of his four years there, the 6-foot-8 small forward turned in a rookie season that a handful of lottery picks and several players chosen in the second half of the first round might look upon with envy. 

Jones earned a spot on the roster with his speed and athletic ability in training camp and the preseason, and first-year Magic coach Jacque Vaughn inserted him into the starting lineup after Hedo Turkoglu fractured his left hand in the regular-season opener.

For a while, it felt like a flashback to the franchise's "heart and hustle" era when Doc Rivers was an unproven head coach and the Magic occasionally utilized a lineup comprised of nothing but undrafted players such as Darrell Armstrong, Bo Outlaw and Ben Wallace.

Those similarities didn't last for long. The Magic flirted with the .500 mark through their first 25 games before their inexperience and a string of injuries jolted them back to reality. And the lasting image of Jones might be when, after both Maurice Harkless and Tobias Harris had fouled out of a game at Miami, he came in cold off the bench and was entrusted with the thankless task of trying to defend LeBron James with the outcome on the line.

Jones, who had gone against James in some pickup games while still in college, had no better luck trying to stop the NBA's MVP in the closing seconds than Paul George of the Indiana Pacers did in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. The 97-96 loss to the Heat marked one of eight times the Magic were beaten by three or fewer points.

Coming so close twice to defeating both the Heat and the Chicago Bulls gives Jones cause to think the Magic aren't as far away from playoff contention as their 20-62 record would suggest.

"I believe we're very close," he said. "This season was a direct reflection of just being in a lot of close games and with our youth being against us, so to speak, just not knowing how to close out games with the lack of experience. But I believe we can contend for a playoff spot next year."

Although the Magic are expected to continue to be in a rebuilding mode, it's unlikely they would take a small forward with the No. 2 pick in the draft. That could give Jones a decent chance at sticking around with a group of players he came to enjoy and respect.

"I know we have a lot of great guys on our team," Jones said. "But most of all, they're competitors. And whenever you deal with those types of issues, that brings out the best in you."

Fellow rookie Doron Lamb didn't have to overcome quite the same odds Jones did, but his road to the NBA was by no means smooth. Lamb, the 42nd overall selection, was inactive for 22 games with the Milwaukee Bucks and spent six games in the Development League before they packaged him with Harris and Beno Udrih in a deal before the trading deadline.

The 21-year-old guard out of Kentucky gave the Magic a taste of what he might develop into when he knocked down four 3-point field goals in their overtime win over the Bucks. Lamb is the third-youngest player on the team next to Harkless and Harris and thus figures to be part of the summer league squad the Magic will field July 7-12.

What He Did Right
It was commendable for Jones to make the roster as an undrafted rookie, much less start in 17 games. His speed and athleticism were evident, even while averaging less than 13 minutes a game. During the stretch of a few weeks in January, he was starting ahead of first-round pick Maurice Harkless at small forward and getting more playing time than him.

Where He Needs to Improve
On a team full of young players who can be categorized as works in progress, he might need the most work of all. He may never become someone for whom plays are run, but that shouldn't keep him from developing a dependable jump shot or becoming a better ball-handler. Despite his raw talent, he didn't block many shots.

Best Game
March 27 at Charlotte. This was one of the four occasions when he scored in double figures. He made six of his nine field-goal attempts, including some open jump shots, and finished with a career-high 13 points. A week later, he played 36 minutes off the bench at Chicago as the Magic almost knocked off the Bulls.

Looking Ahead
Given all the playing time Harkless and Tobias Harris received over the final seven weeks, it's hard to picture Jones being more than a low-cost insurance policy next season. He's a free agent after making the rookie minimum salary of less than $475,000.

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DeQuan Jones TOP 10 HIghlights of 2012-13 Season

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VIDEO: DeQuan Jones with a tomahawk jam

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DeQuan Jones impresses in loss to the Spurs

CHICAGO — Rookie DeQuan Jones played one of his better games this season in the Orlando Magic's 98-84 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night.

Jones scored 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting off the bench.

In one sequence, Jones intercepted an errant Spurs pass, drove the length of the floor and made a finger-roll layup as he was fouled by Gary Neal. The bucket and the ensuing free throw cut San Antonio's lead to 17-16 with 4:00 left in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Jones finished off a Magic fastbreak with a right-handed dunk that elicited a few gasps from Spurs fans inside AT&T Center.

"Coach came in and said that the teams that come in here and are successful and give themselves a chance are most times the aggressors," Jones said.

Jones is at his best in space and when he attacks the rim, but he also is showing some improvement on his jump shot.

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VIDEO: DeQuan Jones with a rim-rocker

DeQuan Jones started at shooting guard for the Magic on Wednesday and had 13 points, two rebounds, two assists, a steal and two blocks on 6-of-9 shooting.

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VIDEO: DeQuan Jones with a nasty stuff

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DeQuan Jones Rejects Chris Bosh

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VIDEO: Ron Artest and Dequan Jones exchange words

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VIDEO: DeQuan Jones High Flyer

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VIDEO: proCane DeQuan Jones (2009) - ACC Best Dunk Contest

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Long-shot DeQuan Jones living a dream

Rather miraculously, rookie DeQuan Jones finds himself in the Magic's lineup, starting at small forward over a respected veteran and a coveted draft pick culled from the Dwight Howard deal.

Truth is, nobody expected Jones' name to come up in a conversation involving Hedo Turkoglu and Maurice Harkless.

But here he is, hearing his name called during player introductions the past eight games after making the team as an undrafted, October training-camp invitee.
"Feels like a roller-coaster ride, the highs and lows, going from not playing to starting," Jones said, shaking his head. "It's a matter of staying on an even keel, staying consistent."

It's a major opportunity for Jones, even if he has a minor role in the production.

The Magic only ask DeQuan to be what he is at the moment: an electric, versatile athlete who's learning on the fly and doesn't necessarily need the ball.

"There's certain things a player learns that can't be taught by just watching film," he said. "There's things you can only learn through in-game experience. It's just a matter of me getting accustomed to the NBA game, the ins and outs."

Coach Jacque Vaughn has seen Jones take baby steps.

"He's been improving," Vaughn said. "You watch film and he has less breakdowns for us on the defensive end, which means he's understanding the concepts better. His shot selection has been pretty good. Just his aggressiveness, being able to attack the rim and maybe get a foul.

"He's just learning, and that's the best part. He's learning along the way and he keeps getting better."

The small-forward spot has been a revolving door since Turkoglu sustained a broken hand in the opener and still struggles to fully recover.

Harkless made 20 consecutive starts until Vaughn decided to go with Jones on New Year's Eve against the Miami Heat.

In a rebuilding season featuring player development, Vaughn said he wanted to again evaluate Jones, who had made three previous starts early in the season while battling a strained groin.

"Change-wise, it was just time for me to see (Jones) in the lineup," Vaughn said. "He had been working hard … that was the base for the change, not to say Mo had not been working hard."

If you were to draw blueprints to build a player, Jones would be an ideal model at a chiseled 6-feet-8, 220 pounds.

"Physically, right now, even though he's a rookie, he matches up well with most starting 3-men in the league," Vaughn said.

Jones' stats won't wow you. He's averaging just 3.1 points and 2.1 rebounds per game, and 11.9 minutes overall. But since the beginning of January, he has averaged 5.6 points, 3.4 rebounds in 19.4 minutes while shooting 54 percent.

Jones, 22, had similar numbers during his four years at Miami. Minor role or not, he has landed a shot at the big time, trying to handle this unique opportunity to audition.

He's starting, but doesn't get starter's minutes.

He's starting, but his biggest job is to do the little things.

He's starting, but it feels as if the promotion could stop at any time.

It's as if DeQuan is a temp, perhaps keeping the seat warm for now with Turk out and Harkless watching closely. And he knows it.

"I never get complacent. I never for one second thought I was a sure lock (last summer)," Jones said. "I still don't. That's not who I am. It's just every day, come in and be ready to work."

He remembers his first NBA start after Turk was injured, facing Phoenix on Nov. 4. "During intros, they called my name. It kind of hit me," he said. "I caught a flashback when I was a kid, watching Michael Jordan. I realized I was a part of it.

"That was the defining moment, when I realized the position I was in."

Jones is playing on a one-year, minimum contract. He's still fighting to gain a career foothold.

"Absolutely," he said. "Absolutely."

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VIDEO: proCane DeQuan Jones' Monster Dunk

proCane DeQuan Jones had season highs with 11 points and 26 minutes against the Nuggets on Wednesday, adding five rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block.

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Thursday is a big day for the Magic's DeQuan Jones

PORTLAND, Ore. — The date Jan. 10 is an important day in the NBA — and for Orlando Magic rookie swingman DeQuan Jones.

It's the day when all of the league's nonguaranteed contracts become guaranteed for the rest of the season. That's why the waiver wire has been busy in recent days, with several teams letting players go.

In September the Magic signed Jones to a one-year minimum-salary deal worth $473,604. The Magic will be obligated to pay him his remaining salary if they keep him on their roster through Thursday.

His roster spot is probably safe.

"Hopefully, that is the case," he said.

Jones, undrafted from the Miami Hurricanes, started his fourth consecutive game Monday when the Magic played the Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden.
Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said Jones' biggest improvement since the preseason has been his concentration on the defensive end of the court.

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DeQuan Jones posterizes Chris Bosh

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VIDEO: Dequan Jones Interview

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PHOTO: DeQuan Jones In the Canes Lockeroom After Victory Over UCF

University of Miami Men’s Basketball Coach, Coach Konkol posted this photo after the Canes victory over UCF on Tuesday night which features proCane DeQuan Jones.


Post game locker room pic after last night's win at UCF @DequanJones5 in his old seat!

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VIDEO: DeQuan Jones Destroys Earl Watson's Shot Attempt

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Getting to know the Magic: DeQuan Jones

DeQuan Jones’ dynamic dunks are the perfect balance to his otherwise humble spirit.

When he smiles, the whole room lights up. His wide grin is the response of a man living out his dream.

As a first-year player, that dream happens to involve taking nine-year veteran Jameer Nelson to the mall after practice. Still, Jones put aside his rookie duties for a few minutes to talk with FOX Sports Florida in this week’s Q&A.

As Nelson walked past, he jokingly scolded, “Hurry up Rook. I ain’t got all day.”

FS Florida: What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
DeQuan Jones: Brush my teeth I hope (laughing). But, I like to listen to music. So the very first thing I do is probably turn my music on.

FS Florida: You tweeted the other day that you love old-school music. What is it about old-school music that you love so much?
Jones: I grew up with my grandparents. And I can remember Sunday mornings getting up early, cleaning up the house, and going to church. The old-school music kind of puts me at ease and puts me back in that mindset. So I just love it.

FS Florida: Who are some of your favorite artists?
Jones: Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye. Sam Cooke’s probably my all-time favorite. But, I also like Percy Sledge, Bobby Blue Band.

FS Florida: Can you sing at all?
Jones: No. No. Not at all. There’s no way you’re getting me to sing in this hallway.

FS Florida: Did you sing in the church?
Jones: (Laughing) No I didn’t. I was always into sports.

FS Florida: When did you first start playing basketball?
Jones: Ever since I was little, I would say like 3 years old. I remember growing up, me and my father watching Michael Jordan going up against the Pistons.

FS Florida: Your dad taught you how to play?
Jones: Yeah he did, him and the rest of my family. My uncles and my cousins, we all just grew up playing basketball and football.

FS Florida: What is your most memorable basketball moment?
Jones: Beating Duke last year at home. That was a great experience. I think it was the first time (University of Miami) had ever beaten Duke at home.

FS Florida: What about your most embarrassing basketball moment?
Jones: My most embarrassing moment was this year in preseason when we played Cleveland and I shook the referee’s hands before the game. That was probably the most embarrassing moment ever, thanks to Jameer.

FS Florida: What made you shake their hands?
Jones: I mean that’s the norm in college. They call your name; you run out and shake the referees’ hands. This was my first time starting in the NBA so I thought it was the same. I went out there and got halfway and was like, ‘Did anyone else do this?’ And then I look back at Jameer and he’s cracking up. I guess it’s a story for the books. Something I’ll always be remembered by.

FS Florida: Who’s your favorite actor or actress?
Jones: I’m a big Denzel Washington fan.

FS Florida: Have you seen his newest movie yet?
Jones: 'Flight'? Yeah I did. I love movies. I make it to the movie theater at least two or three times a week.

FS Florida: So what’s your favorite movie genre?
Jones: Definitely action.

FS Florida: What about your favorite TV show?
Jones: 'Seinfeld'. It’s hilarious.

FS Florida: What do you love about being in the NBA so far?
Jones: Just that feeling I get when I’m out there on the court playing ball. You know, growing up I was always shorter than everyone. The basketball court was the only place I felt like people really respected me. Until like ninth grade when I shot up like six inches (laughing).

FS Florida: Rumor has it that you like to cook. What’s your favorite thing to cook?
Jones: I experiment with a lot of things. But, I would say chicken breast because it’s such a versatile meal. You can season it differently; make different sides to go along with it. One thing I tried was an apricot spread. You bake it with apricot and pre-season it. It turned out really good.

FS Florida: So you’re nice in the kitchen then?
Jones: Well, I don’t want to toot my own horn (laughing).

FS Florida: Who’s the best cook you know? Don’t get in trouble now.
Jones: (laughing) …

FS Florida: No answer?
Jones: … I can’t keep Jameer waiting too much longer (laughing).

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Magic give DeQuan Jones unlikely shot at NBA

When DeQuan Jones finally got a moment alone after making the Orlando Magic's roster, he sat silently for a while in his rental car outside the team's practice facility, reflecting on his good news that defied NBA odds.

Here's how big of a long shot Jones was in making the team, let alone starting a game for the Magic: He wasn't invited to any predraft camps, wasn't listed in the league's media draft guide and worked out with only three teams. He was the seventh-leading scorer at the University of Miami last season as a senior, light credentials that led to a quiet evening at his parents' house last June, when he watched the NBA draft and didn't hear his name called.

"I'd be lying if I didn't say an ounce of doubt didn't creep in my mind," Jones said of his NBA dreams. "Nobody expected anything. It was more so a shot in the dark."

Jones got workouts with the Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks. While working as a Pistons executive, Magic assistant general manager Scott Perry liked the athleticism he saw from Jones, a 6-foot-8 guard/forward. Perry soon added Jones to the Magic's summer league team, where he made a strong impression that landed him a training camp non-guaranteed invite.

Jones began believing he could make the Magic when he scored 22 points in a preseason game against the Pistons on Oct. 16. (His career-high at Miami was 16). He made a strong final impression in the preseason finale, scoring 16 against Houston.

The Magic had to make the tough decision of keeping either Jones, veteran swingman Quentin Richardson, who had two years and $4.5 million left on his contract, or young guard Justin Harper. On Oct. 27, the Magic gave Jones the nod.

"I just sat in the car for about 10 minutes and replayed everything that happened the last couple years of my life," Jones said. "I just wore a smile. I just can't stop smiling."

Two days later, the 22-year-old was apartment hunting in Orlando with a new salary of $473,604.

"He was smiling ear to ear when we told him," Magic GM Rob Hennigan said. "We told him it doesn't get easier from here, it gets harder. It speaks to the perception of timing. DeQuan put himself in this position because he was in shape, – his effort, his athleticism – and he made great plays."

Not bad for a player who had a lackluster college career that included a career-low two games started as a senior, and an average of 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 17.3 minutes per game. His top highlight was perhaps competing in the slam dunk contest at the Final Four. His lowlight was serving an 11-game suspension as part of the investigation into former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro, who said he gave a then-Miami assistant coach $10,000 to give to Jones to aid his recruitment.

Jones, who was later reinstated, denied receiving any money or ever meeting Shapiro. He said the "suspension wasn't justified" and believes the scandal hurt his standing in the NBA heading into the draft period.

"I looked back on that as a teaching point," Jones said. "It taught me how to deal with adversity and how to persevere. In the future adversity is guaranteed. But that moment taught me how to deal with it, how to stay positive, how to believe in myself and not give up."

Miami coach Jim Larranaga said Jones played sparingly during his college career because he made the mistake of "making a habit of trying a lot of different things" like shoot a "Kobe Bryant fade-away jumper." Once Jones focused on rebounding, Larranaga said, he was able to improve his game – and that makes him a "major success story."

Jones missed the Magic's season-opener because of a strained left groin. But with swingman Hedo Turkoglu out indefinitely with a broken hand, Jones started the next two games for Orlando at small forward. He had two points Sunday in his NBA debut against the Phoenix Suns as a starter, but described the moment as incredible.

Said Jones: "My hat goes off to the Orlando Magic organization for giving me an opportunity in summer league and training camp. They obviously saw the potential in me and took a chance."

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DeQuan Jones is Magic's feel-good story

Let's face it: After going through the Dwightmare, the firing of execs, coaches and scouts and some considerable embarassment, the Magic were due some good karma this season.

And there's no better feel-good story on the roster than DeQuan Jones.

If you're tired of spoiled, misguided superstars, DQ reminds us what's great about sports.

Jones had little chance of making the team, it seemed, after the UM forward was snubbed in the draft

"The draft...that was the longest three hours of my life," he said. "That was tough."

DQ proved to be tougher.

He beat the long odds to make the roster, and his hard work, perseverance and appreciation is refreshing.

The Magic had so many guaranteed contracts on the books that it appeared Jones was merely a training-camp body.

"Honestly, I didn't think about that. I couldn't think about that. I just had to play my best," he said.

Jones' athleticism caught the Magic's attention when they invited him to participate on their summer-league team. He once dunked over a motorcycle in a NCAA dunk contest.

The Magic ate the last two years of Quentin Richardson's contract to effectively make room for Jones at small forward.

Then, when veteran Hedo Turkoglu sustained a broken hand in the opener, Jones was thrust into the starting lineup on Sunday against the Phoenix Suns.
Jones didn't have much impact on the game, but the game had an impact on him.

"It was surreal," he said.

Teammates, recognizing how much his NBA debut meant to him, welcomed DQ when he came to the bench in the first quarter.

"Jameer (Nelson) said, 'Welcome to the NBA, rook,'" Jones said.

Yes, rook. Welcome to the NBA. And thanks for reminding us what the journey is all about.

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DeQuan Jones (abductor) doesn't practice on Monday

Forward DeQuan Jones does not have a timetable for return from a strained abductor muscle.

Jones, an undrafted rookie, has turned heads this season and found a spot on the Magic's roster. He can defend the 1-3 positions on the floor, and though he will start the year outside of the regular rotation we wouldn't be surprised if we call his name again this year.

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DeQuan Jones enjoys storybook trip onto the Magic's roster

DeQuan Jones won't forget what happened June 28.

He waited for NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver to announce that a team had drafted him in the second round.

He waited.

And he waited.

But Silver never uttered the words "DeQuan Jones."

In retrospect, that painful night might have been the best thing that ever happened to Jones, a 6-foot-8 swingman who played four seasons for the Miami Hurricanes. That excruciating disappointment fueled him and propelled him on an unlikely journey to a spot on the Orlando Magic's regular-season roster.
"I'm ecstatic," Jones said.

Jones could not stop smiling when general manager Rob Hennigan and assistant general manager Scott Perry sat him down inside Amway Center on Saturday and told him he had made the team.

All the extra effort — the late nights shooting jumpers in a quiet gym, the extra running under Florida's harsh sun, the intense focus studying game video with Magic coaches — paid off.

He played for the Magic's summer league squad and accepted an invitation to Magic training camp without any guarantees, only a pledge from team officials that he would receive an opportunity.

"He came in and worked really hard," Hennigan said. "He was consistent. He listened. He stayed late. He put himself in a position to really take advantage of that opportunity, and we're proud of him."

The 22-year-old appeared in all of Orlando's preseason exhibitions, and he embraced the "dirty-work" chores of defending dangerous wing players and scrapping for loose basketballs.

He also showed some flash. He often punctuated fastbreaks with highlight-reel dunks that demonstrated his uncommon leaping ability. He sometimes sped past defenders as he dribbled into the paint.

Jacque Vaughn and his assistant coaches noticed that athleticism, and they view Jones as someone who has the potential to defend opposing small forwards and shooting guards and point guards. If Jones can deliver, he will be a valuable asset to the Magic.

"I think that's the most important aspect for young guys when they come into the league: define a role as quickly as possible," Vaughn said. "That's how you stay in this league."

Jones accepted that role.

It remains unclear how, exactly, he will fit into the Magic's playing rotation. Arron Afflalo and J.J. Redick are ensconced as the team's top two shooting guards. Hedo Turkoglu likely will be backed up by rookie Maurice Harkless once Vaughn feels Harkless is fully ready after offseason sports-hernia surgery.

But the Magic are in rebuilding mode, and team officials will give youngsters chances for on-the-job-training.

"Whatever the team needs," Jones said. "I know defensively they're going to need me to be a defensive stopper."

Veteran players, including Afflalo and Quentin Richardson, who was cut to make room for Jones, gave Jones advice during breaks in exhibition games.
That meant something to Jones.

So did a moment Friday after the final exhibition game. Jones returned to his hotel to find someone waiting outside the room.
It was his dad, Clady Jones, who had made a surprise trip to Orlando to encourage his son.

It just so happened that Saturday was Clady's birthday.

They had plenty to celebrate.

DeQuan sent out a Twitter message after he learned he had made the team.

He wrote: "If my story teaches you anything, it's to never give up."

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Magic waive 3 players and keep DeQuan Jones

The Orlando Magic made three moves Saturday that enabled them to keep their most athleticicon1 player. By waiving wing Quentin Richardson, combo forward Justin Harper and wing Chris Johnson, the team created a space for undrafted rookie DeQuan Jones, an explosive wing who offers potential as a defender.

The roster moves took on a symbolic significance, too. In cutting Richardson and Harper, the new-look Magic front office severed yet more vestiges of the Otis Smith era — but not without a lingering cost.

The franchise still will owe Richardson $2.6 million this season and $2.8 million next season unless another team takes the unexpected step of claiming him off waivers within 48 hours.

"When we started the transition period over the summer, we said to ourselves we want to evaluate everything, and we want to make sure that we judge our players based on the work they put in and the merit that comes with that," new Magic general managericon1 Rob Hennigan said.

"All throughout the preseason, we evaluated everything, and we made the decision that, yeah, financially we're going to have to make a decision that impacts us in that way. But we feel that the decision was [best] for the organization and the culture we want to start to set."

Harper's guaranteed salaryicon1 of $760,000 for this season is a pittance by NBA standards, but the franchise still owes the Cleveland Cavaliers a second-round pick in 2013 and a second-round pick in 2014 for acquiring the combo forward's draft rights last year.

The cuts trimmed Orlando's roster to 15 players, the maximum allowed under league rules.

Only five people — Glen Davis, Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redickicon1, Ish Smith and Hedo Turkoglu — remain from last year's team.

Richardson, 32, didn't fit into the Magic's long-term plans. Hennigan and coach Jacque Vaughn broke the news to him Saturday morning at Amway Center.
"Actually, Rob did a great jobicon1 just getting out front and being open and everything, so it wasn't something that blindsided me," Richardson said. "He kept in constant communication with my agent, Jeff Wechsler. I've got nothing but the utmost respect for the way Rob handled everything.

"I've been around long enough to know it was definitely a possibility, and I just appreciate the way Rob handled it. From Day One, I just wanted him to be honest and open with me, and that's how he handled it. So I have no ill feelings about it."

Harper, 23, worked tirelessly in the weight room over the last year and willingly attempted to make the transition from power forward to small forward. But he would have struggled to earn playing time at either forward spot.

"They both gave me effort, which was great," Vaughn said of Harper and Richardson. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for what they both did while they were here in camp. It's just a part of the numbers game."

Jones, 22, worried about his chances to make the team until he met with Hennigan and assistant general manager Scott Perry on Saturday morning.
"I couldn't stop smiling," Jones said. "They were talking, and I just had this grin on my face. It still hasn't fully hit me yet."

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PHOTO: proCane Orlando Magic DeQuan Jones Drives to the Hoop


Orlando Magic forward DeQuan Jones (20) fights for a loose ball with Memphis Grizzlies defenders Zach Randolph, left, and Jerryd Bayless in the first half of an NBA basketball preseason game Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, in Memphis, Tenn.

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VIDEO: Watch: DeQuan Jones, Jameer Nelson Hook Up for Alley-Oop

The Orlando Magic topped the Indiana Pacers, 112-96, on Friday for their first victory of the 2012/13 preseason. And while there are plenty of highlights to be found--six Orlando players scored in double-figures, and the team shot 54.9 percent from the field--none was more electric than DeQuan Jones' alley-oop dunk from Jameer Nelson.

After a Pacers turnover, the Magic outlet the ball to Nelson on the left side of the floor. Jones leaked up the right side, and no Indy player managed to plug it up. Nelson found Jones with a pinpoint lob pass, and Jones flushed it easily and with both hands.

One can hardly fault Magic play-by-play man Dennis Neumann for misidentifying Jones as Oklahoma City Thunder swingman Daequan Cook; it's easy, even for professionals, to lose one's faculties in the immediate aftermath of a highlight-reel play.

Jones, an undrafted rookie from Miami (FL), is averaging 10.2 points per game in five preseason appearances, shooting 60.5 percent from the floor. His consistent, efficient productivity may have given him the inside track to the Magic's 15th and final roster spot.

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DeQuan Jones soars despite long odds

Small forward DeQuan Jones is probably better than, oh, 95 percent of the world at playing basketball.

That’s likely not enough to make the Magic roster, which has 13 guaranteed contracts.

Despite the long odds, Jones has played with a fervor this preseason, displaying his athletic assets that could draw interest from another team, stateside or abroad.

Friday night, Jones, an undrafted free agent out of the University of Miami, opened eyes again in the Magic’s 112-96 win against the Indiana Pacers at Amway Center.

Jones hit 5-of-6 shots for 10 points, had four blocks and turned in the highlight play of the night – a fastbreak alley-oop dunk off a pass from Jameer Nelson.

“The good thing is we haven’t made any cuts so far,” Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said when asked about Jones’ chances of making the team. “Go to practice and work hard. That’s my advice I have for him. Be good to the game and the game will be good to you.”

Added Vaughn, “DeQuan has done a good job. He tries to get better every day and I appreciate that. He did a good job using his athleticism against some pretty good forwards.”

Jones knows what he’s up against.

“I feel fine. I just go out and play the best basketball I can and just let the rest take care of itself. I use my speed, my agility,” he said. “I try to be an energy guy, a utility guy.”

Jones said the coaches and veterans such as Jameer Nelson have helped him immensely.

“They all talked to me about letting the game come to you….so it kind of slows down,” he said.

The Magic have three more preseason games left, and cuts could start any day with 20 players on the roster.

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proCane DeQuan Jones seizes opportunity with Orlando Magic

There is a price to pay for being a rookie in NBA training camp.

DeQuan Jones, the former University of Miami forward, learned that as soon as he joined the Orlando Magic as an undrafted newcomer a few months ago. He has had to carry luggage for the veterans, make CVS runs to buy Old Spice body wash for the team and stop at Target to pick up a stepladder for captain Jameer Nelson, who at 6 feet needs a bit of help to reach the top shelf of his locker.

Jones is so accustomed to the rookie ribbing that he thought it was another joke when coach Jacque Vaughn on Sunday called his name to join the starters in the team shootaround before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“Coach Vaughn always starts practice at the baseline, and on Sunday he said, ‘I want the first five out here, and started listing off the names … Jameer, D.J.’ I was thinking, ‘D.J.? That’s me. Was that a typo?’ Coach looked right at me when he said it, but I was hesitant to walk over because I’ve experienced all the rookie pranks and I thought maybe this was another trick. So, I just stood there until I realized it was for real.’’

Vaughn opted to rest J.J. Redick that night and wanted to see Jones in the starting lineup to evaluate how he would respond, and how he would do guarding the Cavs’ better players. Jones didn’t disappoint. He finished with seven points and nine rebounds.

He did well enough to earn a second start on the road against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.

Before the game, Nelson, who has been particularly helpful to Jones, approached the rookie and said: “This is your chance. Take advantage of the opportunity.’’

Jones took the advice. He scored a game-high 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting. He also did a standout job defending the Pistons’ wings and made highlights nationwide with an acrobatic dunk over Detroit’s top pick, 7-foot center Andre Drummond. During camp, Jones has impressed coaches, teammates, executives and fans with his explosiveness, athleticism and versatility. He has looked equally comfortable as a forward and a shooting guard.

The former Cane also has wowed fans with spectacular dunks that are circulating on YouTube and Twitter.

As a result, Magic coaches and executives find themselves in a DeQuan-dary. They have 20 players on the roster, and only 15 make the final cut the first week of November. Jones is likely battling Justin Harper, Ish Smith, Josh McRoberts, Armon Johnson, E’Twaun Moore and Christian Eyenga for one or two spots.

“I came into camp with no expectations,’’ Jones said by phone. “I was just excited for the opportunity to finally live my dream and be part of an NBA organization. I sat around the TV for three hours during the NBA Draft, enduring the reality that I was not being drafted. I was down, but the next day, after a good night’s sleep, I told myself, ‘Stay focused. The ball’s in your court. Don’t give up.’ ’’

The Magic called the following day, and Jones has exceeded expectations.

Not bad for a guy who averaged just 5.9 points per game his senior season as a Hurricane. Jones’ last year at UM was hardly what he had anticipated when he signed with the program four years earlier as a much-hyped Atlanta high school and AAU star.

He was suspended by UM for the first 11 games of his senior season because his name was implicated in the Nevin Shapiro booster scandal, an allegation he and his family vehemently denied. The school, unable to produce any evidence against Jones, reinstated him Dec. 21, 2011, after he retained an attorney to challenge the suspension.

Through it all, Jones kept a positive attitude and took advantage of the time on the bench to become a better student of the game. He paid close attention to advice from then-new coach Jim Larranaga and assistants Eric Konkol, Chris Caputo and Michael Huger. The lessons have served him well in Magic camp. Larranaga and his staff continue to text Jones several times a week with tips and encouragement.

“My introductory meeting with Coach L when he was hired, he told me the key to success was to utilize my strengths and hide my weaknesses,’’ Jones said. “He broke my game down for me in a way nobody ever had, and taught me how to utilize my strengths in every situation, how to best cover a great shooter, how to guard a penetrator. He helped me understand how I can best make an impact with my energy and athleticism. Almost every day I reach back to a lot of what he and the other UM coaches taught me, and it still applies.’’

One of the few gaffes Jones has made in Magic camp came just before his first start. During pregame introductions, he jogged over and shook the hands of the referees, a college custom. The veterans immediately mocked him.

“Jameer was cracking up, told me that was a rookie move,’’ Jones said, laughing. “Those are moments you take with you for a long time. I’m just soaking it all in, playing my game and hoping for the best.’’

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Dunk of the Night: DeQuan Jones Throws Down

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DeQuan Jones Opens Eyes In First Game

While much of the attention in summer league and training camp was focused on drafted rookies Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O’Quinn, it was undrafted rookie DeQuan Jones who opened eyes in Sunday’s first game for the Magic.

The 6-foot-8, 221-pound small forward had eight points and two steals in Sunday’s game while playing 23 minutes. He earned Vaughn’s trust with his willingness to defend and he also electrified the crowd in Mexico City with two thunderous dunks. The University of Miami product knows that he is in a fight for a roster spot as an undrafted player with no contractual guarantees. A high flyer, Jones has worked hard to show the coaching staff and management that he can be an asset to the Magic by doing the dirty work and offering up hard-nosed defense.

``I’m just trying to be a utility guy and on our defensive rotations really be aware and be a stopper for our team,’’ Jones said. ``I’m out there trying to utilize my athleticism to help this team anyway that I can.’’

Jones said it dawned on him during Sunday’s game as he was making his NBA debut that he was living out his dream. He is hoping that he will get enough opportunities throughout the preseason to show the coaches that he deserves a spot on the roster. ``It was a great experience for me and I was just appreciative more than anything,’’ Jones said of his debut. 11I just appreciated being out there and tried to give my all to give the team whatever I could. I’ve just got to keep it up.’’


Orlando Magic To Sign DeQuan Jones

Orlando Magic expected to sign former #UM G/F #DeQuan Jones to 19-man training camp roster. Jones undrafted, but impressed.

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