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Phoenix Suns Waive Forward Derrick Jones Jr. to Sign Mike James

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Portland native Mike James will sign an NBA contract with the team, sending Jones Jr. to waivers.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns announced a move Thursday to waive forward Derrick Jones Jr. in order to sign point guard Mike James to an NBA contract. James was previously on a two-way deal, and becomes the first player to turn one of those contracts into a standard NBA one. Shams Charania of The Vertical broke the news on Twitter early Thursday morning:

Joe Freeman of The Oregonian detailed the rise of James and his strong connection to Portland earlier this season.

Jones Jr.’s claim to NBA fame is his appearance in the Dunk Contest last All-Star Weekend. In six games this season, he’s averaging 1.5 points, 0.7 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game.

The Blazers have succeeded with take-a-flyer players before like Shabazz Napier and Maurice Harkless, and with an open roster spot, Jones Jr. could bring energy and highlight plays to a team lacking mightily in those areas.

Is Jones Jr. someone you’d like to see in Portland? Let us know in the comments.