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Terrence Jones hits NBA free agency after Rockets don't tender contract

Rise. Fall. Rise again. The latter is what Jones hopes his next NBA move is.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

In a surprising move, the Houston Rockets have opted not to extend a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Terrence Jones, meaning the former Kentucky Wildcats champ is now an unrestricted free agent.

With the deadline for NBA teams to tender RFAs and be able to match any contract offer said player receivers,  Jonathan Feigen reports Houston will not do so with Jones, who can now his unrestricted free agency for the first time in his pro career.

It was just two years ago that Jones looked poised to become a star NBA forward. He started 71 games for the Rockets and averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 boards and 1.3 blocks with a 19.14 PER, the 40th-best mark of any NBA player that year.

However, Jones has slowly fallen out of favor since then, starting just 35 games in the two seasons since then while appearing in just 83 games. This past season among the turmoil of Houston's constant mess, Jones fell out of favor with the coaching staff and started in just 11 games and only played in 50 games total.

His PER dropped to 13.5 while chipping in 8.7 points and 4.6 boards in 20.9 minutes per game. Injuries have really hurt his production, not to mention Houston having a ton of big men sharing playing time with Jones.

Still, one would think the Rockets wouldn't just let go of an asset for nothing, but this is actually great news for Jones. Teams are always hesitant to offer RFAs, but any decent UFA will get a nice offer from someone.

Yahoo Sports actually had Jones as the 36th-ranked free agent before he became an UFA, which should automatically puts him higher on that list.