With training camp for most NBA teams to begin early next week, squads are releasing their official rosters for camp. Aside from the obvious shoe-ins and players with guaranteed contracts, many prospects are prepared to fight tooth and nail for a spot as they make their marks in The Association.
While there will be a bevy of D-League alum vying for that final spot or two, big man Phil Jones (out of UNC Charlotte) will be joining them this fall.
The Minnesota Timberwolves announced that Jones will be joining the team for training camp, bringing some overseas flavor along with him. In addition to playing across the pond in Thailand most recently, Jones also plays for the Virgin Islands National Team too.
The 27 year old has a sweet shooting stroke for a big man, and what's more, his impressive 7'6" wingspan aids his even better shot-blocking ability.
Jones was reportedly exploring various D-League options before getting the camp invite in Minnesota. Of course, this special opportunity is one he can use to actually crack onto an NBA roster.
This is where he shares a similarity with many D-League alum who are fighting their way back into the NBA. That said, for a player like Jones, certainly an added benefit is simply getting the chance to play again big league competition as he readies himself for whatever opportunity may come his way in a couple of weeks.
Should he not make the Timberwolves (as many camp invites will likely fall short), at least Jones will have logged hours in the gym against some serious NBA-level competition. Such experience will undoubtedly prove to be valuable, should he choose to ultimately continue his basketball journey in the D-League.
Minnesota has the option of cutting, yet subsequently protecting, three players from their training camp roster for its respective D-League affiliate to sign. The Sioux Falls Skyforce are currently the Timberwolves' affiliate, but with so many young guns and players with past D-League experience already on the camp roster, it's unknown whether or not Jones would ultimately be one of the chosen protected players, should he not make the cut.