Herb Jones Signs Near-Record Breaking Deal with Pelicans
Being a second-round pick in the NBA is far from a guarantee on the final roster. Herb Jones was selected with the 35th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and, thanks to a strong Summer League showing, has signed a three-year, $5.4 million deal.
According to Alabama Athletics, Jones's contract is the second-largest deal for a second-round pick in NBA history.
"What a tremendous achievement for Herb," head basketball coach Nate Oats said in a release. "He has worked so hard to make his dream come true and now to see it come to fruition is incredible. New Orleans knew what they were getting when they drafted Herb, but I think he has shown how much value he can bring to their organization. He does everything the right way – high character, great teammate, incredible work ethic, high IQ, and so on. I could not be happier for him and his family."
Alongside Alabama teammate Kira Lewis, Jr., Jones has shined through the NBA Summer League. Through four games Jones has posted 7.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.3 blocks in 21.7 minutes per game. His +12 plus/minus ranks 14th in the Summer League.
Though Jones's deal is large, it isn't fully guaranteed - a standard in the NBA for second-round picks. Still, it's a strong start for the 22-year-old from Greensboro, Alabama.
At Alabama, Jones excelled in his four years with the Crimson Tide, though his senior season proved he was an NBA-caliber player. He became just the second player in SEC history to win SEC Defensive and Overall Player of the Year in 2020-21 after he led the league in steals with 57 and was top-10 in the SEC in defensive rebounds, blocks, assists and total points produced.
Jones and Lewis will suit up for the Pelicans Summer League squad Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. on NBA TV against the Minnesota Timberwolves.