Heat sign veteran free agent G Eddie Jones

Feb 2, 2007 - 12:56 AM MIAMI (Ticker) - Eddie Jones has returned to the Miami Heat, who signed the veteran guard Thursday to help with their push for the postseason.

Terms were not disclosed. Jones, 35, returns to the Heat after playing 1 1/2 seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies, who waived him Tuesday after reportedly negotiating a buyout of the final year of his contract.

A 13-year veteran, Jones spent five seasons with the Heat before being dealt to the Grizzlies in a five-team trade on August 2, 2005. In 352 games with Miami, he averaged 16.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists.

"Today I'm personally happy to announce we've brought a member of the Heat's family back into the fold with the free agent signing of Eddie Jones," Miami president Pat Riley said in a statement. "We are very fortunate to be able to add such a quality person to our roster.

"Eddie is the consummate professional whose leadership skills and work ethic will only enhance our squad. His 3-point shooting will help stretch the defense and his perimeter defense is second to none. It's good to have Eddie back."

In 29 games this season, Jones averaged 5.6 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists. A 1994 first-round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers and a three-time All-Star, Jones has career averages of 15.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.8 steals.

The defending NBA champions, the Heat (20-25) are on the outside looking in at the Eastern Conference playoff picture. They are in ninth place, 1 1/2 games behind New Jersey for the final spot.

The Heat also waived rookie guard Robert Hite, who was arrested on DUI charges last month. An undrafted free agent, Hite averaged 4.3 points and 1.3 rebounds in 12 games.

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