Dominique Jones Assigned to Texas Legends
Jones, the 25th overall pick in this year's draft, will join Antonio Daniels (4th in 1997), Reece Gaines (15th in 2003), Sean Williams (17th in 2007), Joe Alexander (8th in 2008) and Rashad McCants (14th in 2005). Jones, along with the recently reporting McCants, will make his Legends debut in Tuesday's home opener against the Austin Toros.
If five fellow first-round picks aren't enough to make the Legends feel like an NBA team, the coaching staff includes Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman, former NBA player David Wesley and coaching consultants Del Harris and Tim Grgurich -- both of whom have considerable NBA coaching experience.
"It's a chance to play," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle told ESPN Dallas Monday night. "It's a chance to work on his game. I'm sure (Legends coach Nancy Lieberman) will kick his ass, which is great. It's an opportunity. Not many teams have a D-League team this close in proximity, so it's an opportunity for us and for him."
The 6-foot-4 combo guard has appeared in nine games for the Mavericks this season but is averaging just 0.9 points, 0.6 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 6.2 minutes. With the Legends, Jones will be able to get considerable playing time, which will allow him to exhibit what he's been working on in practice without having to worry about getting yanked just a couple of minutes into the game. Donnie Nelson echoes that sentiment.
"You can do all the drills in the world," Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, a co-owner of the Legends, told ESPN Dallas. "Unless you can use them in the heat of the battle, it doesn't do much good."
Jones is expected to rejoin the Mavericks by next week, allowing him to play Tuesday against the Toros and then a back-to-back Friday and Saturday against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and Tulsa 66ers, respectively.
He will be the first assignment in the history of the Legends' franchise.