Derrick Jones Jr

Report: Bulls forward Derrick Jones Jr. declines player option for 2023-24 season

Jones told NBC Sports Chicago in April he then planned to pick up his player option for the season

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Derrick Jones Jr. is reportedly declining his player option with the Chicago Bulls, according to Shams Charania. He will not return for the 2023-24 season, leaving $3.3 million on the table for unrestricted free agency.

This comes as a surprise, seeing as Jones Jr. told NBC Sports Chicago in April he planned -- at that time -- to pick his player option and remain with the Bulls.

“Like I told Coach (Billy Donovan) and everybody else, I’m locked in for two years. I didn’t sign for two years for no reason. So I’m here for two years,” Jones Jr. said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago. “I just gotta sit down with my agent and talk to him, figure things out. But I don’t see why not. I got no other plans, yet.”

MORE: Jones Jr. plans to pick up option, return to Bulls

Jones Jr. has played a pivotal role off the bench for the Bulls over the past two seasons. The high-flying, 2020 NBA slam dunk champion offers a unique skillet and versatility playing a forward/center position. He has the ability to switch from bigger men to smaller guards, outhustle guys for rebounds and operate as a lob threat in any form.

On just over 14 minutes per game last season, Jones Jr. averaged 5.0 points and 2.4 rebounds per game on 50 percent shooting from the field and 33 percent shooting from behind the arc. For what it's worth, he shot over 41 percent from corner threes, just above the NBA average 38 percent from that location.

His adaptability to a niche role on this Bulls' team has caught eyes of outsiders and his teammates. Now that he's gone, is it possible the Bulls re-sign Javonte Green, now an unrestricted agent who played a similar role and style as Jones Jr.?

Either way, the Bulls have a little more wiggle room to operate with some cash back on the books. How they plan to use it remains the question, as the Bulls trek forward through an offseason filled with questions.

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