Josh Jones’ tryout with the Maine Red Claws ended this week when the 6-foot-4 guard and Jefferson native was waived by the Portland-based NBA Developmental League team.

Jones, an Erskine Academy graduate who starred at Husson University and earned a D-League contract at a national tryout this summer, said he’ll continue to work at becoming a better basketball player and look for opportunities elsewhere in the league.

Red Claws president and general manager Jon Jennings liked what he saw of Jones at the team’s tryout camp in Boston, citing his energy and athleticism, but said Jones’ confidence was lacking during his 10-day stint with the team.

“In fairness to him that happens to a lot of kids trying out for the pro level,” Jennings said.

The Claws also cut forward Jonathan Dupre, reducing their roster size to 12. They’ll need to cut that number to 10 by Wednesday in preparation for the season opener Friday in Springfield, Mass.

Jones will be eligible to sign with another D-League team after Nov. 28. For now, he’ll continue his daily workouts.

“It’s a great eye-opener,” he said of the camp. “I’d miss a shot and I’d get down on myself. Now I went through it and I know what I need to do.”

Chris Patrick, the CEO of Court Vision XL, a sports management company in Massachusetts which represents Jones, said there were at least six D-League teams interested in Jones.

“There were a lot of teams that were interested in him before the draft,” Patrick said. “Now that it’s late in the season it’s going to be difficult for him to get on a team.”

Patrick’s confidence in Jones remains high. A small forward in college, Jones has worked hard to make the transition to shooting guard.

“When I saw him at the Springfield Armor workout, he was the best shooting guard there,” Patrick said. “I’m confident he can play that.”

Patrick said Jones could sign on as a practice player with a D-League team although he wouldn’t get paid. Otherwise he will go into the available player pool.

“If a team has an injury, he’s available to go there,” Patrick said. “A lot’s going to change if the (NBA) lockout ends.”

Patrick has already steered a couple of his clients toward playing in Europe, but said Jones is better off focusing on the D-League for now.

“I think based on the interest from the other teams he has a good shot,” he said.

Jones admitted his confidence could have been higher with the Red Claws but added he’ll try to “just continue to get better and not just dwell on it.”

At Husson, Jones averaged 19.4 points and 11.4 rebounds a game last season and was named player of the year by the Maine Basketball Writers and Coaches Association. Prior to that he played at two colleges, Maine Central Institute and helped Erskine Academy to the Class B state championship in 2004.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]


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