The Magic will not re-sign DeQuan Jones, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports. Jones received his most extensive playing time in the Magic's Summer League finale, scoring 15 points in about 18 minutes. Jones showed his great athleticism and his ability to get into the paint to score in his limited time.
Jones and the Magic parted amicably as Jones took to Twitter to thank the fans and the organization:
Thanks Mr. Hennigan, Coach Vaughn & the entire coaching staff for bringing me to ORL. It has been a great experience with the organization.— Dequan Jones (@Dequan20Jones) July 12, 2013
Wishing all of my teammates and coaches the best of luck and thank them for an incredible season.— Dequan Jones (@Dequan20Jones) July 12, 2013
Again, thank you to all my fans for embracing me. Looking fwd to seeing you all down the road.— Dequan Jones (@Dequan20Jones) July 12, 2013
Jones' story was an incredible one.
He did not start a single game at Miami in his four-year career there and latched on with the Magic's Summer League team last year. He turned heads with his hustle and energy and got a training camp invite. There, the hard work continued and he beat out Quentin Richardson for a roster spot, causing the Magic to eat the final two years on Richardson's guaranteed contract when they waived him.
Incredibly humble, Jones' Cinderella story continued with the Magic. He appeared in 63 games and started in 17. He ended the year averaging 3.7 points per game and shooting 43.6 percent from the floor. Those numbers were not incredibly impressive in the long run and that might account for why he bounced in and out of the rotation.
Orlando opted not to give him a qualifying offer this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent. But Jones opted to return to the Magic and work his way back on the Summer League team. The experience brought back positive memories for Jones, he said following Friday's finale (presumably before Rob Hennigan and the Magic informed him they would not keep him).
"It was big, that's what we prepared for all summer," Jones said. "All the guys here, all the young guys stayed here and worked out in Orlando and that's what we've been building for and working toward: Summer League and showing all the improvements and all the things we improved on."
Jones averaged only 12 minutes per game in the five-game schedule and scored 4.2 points per game and shot 8 for 18 from the floor. It seemed that at the shooting guard position he had been passed over as James Borrego used primarily Doron Lamb in his starting lineup and Rodney McGruder or Matt Gatens in his rotation.
He said after the game he was keeping an open mind regarding his future, but he felt he displayed what he could do and what he was capable of during the regular season. Jones said he was just focused on playing for the Magic this season and was not fielding any offers from teams currently playing in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
Jones, as noted above, was working out with several of the young players on the roster who were in town working out together. He said he still felt like he was part of the Magic even though he was not under contract.
"The last game just ended, so who knows what will happen after this point," Jones said after the game before meeting with Hennigan.
It turned out he had less than an hour from the time he talked to the press following the Magic's game to the time he was informed of his future with the organization.