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NBA Summer League: The Curious Case of Dominique Jones

After refusing an NBA D-League assignment in March, Dominique Jones was released by the Mavericks. Declaring no more minor league ball for him, Jones left to find an NBA team with more playing time to offer. Fast-forward to July, and he's still forced to play in Summer League as he hopes to prove his worth.


Dominique Jones doesn't have it all. As a member of the Dallas Mavericks, he didn't receive a lot of playing time, he didn't achieve stardom, nor did he make a boatload of money.

But the South Florida guard, who played just 80 games through three seasons (in 2010-13) with Dallas, did in fact win an NBA championship ring in 2011. What's more, while doing so, he was able to hit the hardwood and alongside the likes of Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd, both of whom he bonded with.

Again, Jones may not have accomplished all he dreamed of, nor was he likely where he wanted to be following three seasons in the NBA. But with an NBA title ring and some experience playing with two future Hall of Famers, any number of young guns could do a lot worse.

Still, the guard desired a chance to break out and make more of an impact. Following parts of three seasons filled with sporadic playing time and a bevy of of trips back and forth between the Mavericks and the NBA D-League affiliated Texas Legends, Jones decided enough was enough. Refusing his latest minor league assignment, he was subsequently released by Dallas in March of this year.

Jones had proclaimed he was done with the D-League and was going to stick it out in hopes of catching on with an NBA team that had playing time to offer. Ironically enough, however, because it was so late in the season, Jones was, nevertheless, picked up by the Springfield Armor anyway.

Jones' stint with the Armor was said to be an extended tryout with the Nets, who at the time, were also taking a closer look at Kris Joseph and Willie Reed for potential training camps spots for the fall.

Such an opportunity may still be in the cards for Jones at some point, but for now, he's donning a Milwaukee Bucks Summer League uniform. As fate would have it, he's tearing things up, too.

The former Maverick is averaging 17 points on 53% from the field through Monday's games. He's looked rather dominant, able to get past defenders with ease. Jones is quicker than most, and has no trouble getting to the basket. He's impressing and almost surely peaking the curiosities of the bevy of NBA executives present in Las Vegas this week.

Jones has let his play speak for itself this offseason, but refusing to play in the D-League (on assignment, no less) was a huge risk to take. It's one thing to stray away from the D-League in favor of a more lucrative contract. Sometimes, life calls and it's necessary to bite the bullet and play international ball instead.Motivation for the minor leaguers comes from the type of exposure they gain for the long run, not the short term salary.

Still, with the Mavericks, Jones had it made, with regard to a guaranteed contract. That said, he sacrificed it for the hope of a more favorable shot with another NBA team that can provide him with the stage to shine on that he truly desires. It'll be interesting to see if that opportunity eventually comes.

For now, however, Jones is making his way through the tryout circuit. Just like everyone else.