by Michael Clark, CantonCharge.com contributor
When NBA Development League Basketball Executive of the Year Mike Gansey feels the need to make a move, he usually makes the right one. That was the case when he felt that his backcourt depth was getting thin in late February. With explosive scorer Chis Evans dealing with nagging leg issues, and a 10 day contracts in the works for Quinn Cook in Dallas, the Charge pulled the trigger on a deal for savvy scorer Cameron Jones of the Santa Cruz Warriors.
Canton left no doubt in its interest in Jones, sending the rights to fan favorites Juvonte Reddic and Jordan Morgan to Santa Cruz, as well as a future 2nd round pick.
Prior to joining the Charge, Jones (6-4, 185, Northern Arizona) played four seasons in the D-League, with 34 appearances in 2016-17. Jones, 27, was an NBA D-League All-Star in 2014 and also has two years international experience in Russia, Greece and Israel.
It did not take very long for the easy-going Jones to feel comfortable in his new Wine & Gold digs.
“It was a pretty easy transition to make (coming from Santa Cruz) because the coaching staff was extremely hands-on with me from the start and that got me acclimated quickly,” Jones said. “My teammates also helped me out a lot,” Jones said. “This was a special group of guys who were very unselfish – so it was very easy for me.”
His teammates agreed that it took no time for him to be one of the boys.
“Coming here as late as he did, he meshed with all of us,” teammate Gerald Beverly said. “It only took him a day or two to mesh and it felt like he was with us all year.”
The relationships off the court translated on the court as well.
Jones appeared in 13 games for the Charge making two starts. He averaged 11.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 26.5 minutes per contest.
“The smooth shooting Cam Jones came along at just the right time for Head Coach Nate Reinking and the Charge,” Charge play-by-play man Scott Zurilla said. “With Quinn Cook and Kay Felder in and out of the lineup, Jones supplied veteran leadership and versatile scoring. With very little time to acclimate with his new teammates, Jones fit in immediately whether starting or coming in off the bench to provide much needed scoring.”
Jones played a key-role in helping the Charge clinch a playoff berth for the sixth straight season.
“He was that solid veteran guy that we needed down the stretch,” Beverly said. “He wasa great guy and he’s a vet of the game,” Beverly said. “You knew you were always going to get some knocked down threes, beautiful eurosteps to the rim and solid D.”
Despite playing for just a quarter of the season for the Charge, the organization made quite an impact on Cameron and vice versa.
“I think the Charge organization is one of the best in the league,” Jones said. “It’s no surprise they’ve been to playoffs every season. From the general manager, to the coaching staff, to the players and to the office staff – it’s a great organization and I was happy to be a part of it,” Jones said.
This offseason, Cameron plans on taking it easy and spending time with friends and family back home on the west coast.