MIAMI -- The Miami Heat found a backcourt complement to Dwyane Wade, signing free agent guard Damon Jones on Friday.
Jones, a six-year veteran, averaged 7 points and 5.8 assists per
game for the Milwaukee Bucks last season. He averaged 10 points and 7.4 assists in the playoffs.
Wade started at point for the Heat last season and the team signed free agent point guard Keyon Dooling last month, shortly after obtaining Shaquille O'Neal in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers. The 22-year-old Wade averaged 16.2 points in the regular season and 18.0 points in 13 playoff games as a rookie last season.
Terms of Jones' contract were not disclosed, but the Miami Herald reports it is a two-year deal which will pay him $2.5 million for the upcoming season.
Jones put together his finest season in the league last season,
ranking fourth in the league with an average of 11.4 assists per
48 minutes while playing in all 82 regular-season games with the Bucks. He was second with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.64 to 1.
Jones was second on his team in 3-pointers with 98 and
established career-highs in many categories, including
scoring average (7.0), rebounds (170) and assists (478).
The 27-year-old raised his level of play in the postseason,
averaging 10.0 points, 7.4 assists and 4.0 rebounds in
Milwaukee's opening-round series against the eventual NBA
champion Detroit Pistons.
"We are extremely fortunate and pleased to be able to sign the
top-rated guard in the playoffs to a contract," Heat president
Pat Riley said. "We feel his playmaking abilities, shooting and
experience will complement our team and help us accomplish our
goals. It's another great signing for the Heat."
While their backcourt has been solidified, the Heat continue to
have a shortage of forwards after dealing Lamar Odom, Caron
Butler and Brian Grant to the Los Angeles Lakers for superstar
center Shaquille O'Neal in July.
Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.