Popeye Jones (born June 17, 1970 in Dresden, Tennessee) was obtained by the Dallas Mavericks in a trade on June 30, 1993 in exchange for the rights to the Mavs' second round draft pick that year, center Eric Riley from Michigan.
Jones starred in college at Murray State University where his scoring average rose each season (from 5.8 ppg to 21.1 ppg) as did his rebounding average (from 4.6 rpg to 14.4 rpg). Jones was a three-time All Ohio Valley Conference selection and was the conference's Player of the Year in 1990 and 1991 and it's Athlete of the Year in 1991 and 1992. He still ranks fourth at Murray State in points scored with 2,057 and if first all-time in rebounds with 1,374.
The only player in MSU history to score over 2,000 points and garner 1,000 rebounds, Jones is one of only seven MSU players to have their jersey retired by the school.
Drafted in the second round of the 1992 NBA draft by the Houston Rockets, Jones did not play in the league but elected to spend his first professional season in Italy. The following offseason, he was dealt to the Mavericks for the draft rights to Dallas' 1993 second round pick, center Eric Riley from Michigan,
Jones became an immediate force for the Mavs playing in 81 games his rookie season. The next year he averaged a double-double in points (10.3) and rebounds (10.6). His number rose again in 1994-1995 as his averages climbed to 11.3 ppg and 10.8 rpg. He set a Mavericks career single-game rebounding record that season grabbing 28 boards on January 9, 1996 against Indiana.
At the end of the season, however, Jones was traded along with New York's 1997 first round draft choice (owned by Dallas) to Toronto for Jimmy King and the Raptors' second round choices in either 1997 and 1998 or 1998 and 1999.
He played two seasons in Toronto appearing in only 14 games his second season there due to a torn ACL he incurred. From Toronto, Jones went on to play in Boston, Denver and Washington before returning to the Mavs, as a free agent, for the 2002-2003 campaign. That season he appeared in 26 games averaging two points per game. After the season the Mavs again traded him, this time along with Evan Eschmeyer, Avery Johnson, Nick Van Exel and Antoine Rigaudeau in a major roster overhaul to the Golden State Warriors for Danny Fortson, Antawn Jamison, Chris Mills and Jiri Welsch on August 18, 2003.
Jones played five games for the Warriors in 2003-2004 before ending his NBA career.
He returned to Dallas for four seasons (2006-2010) as a Player Development Coach for the Mavericks, before going to the New Jersey Nets as a bench assistant coach under Avery Johnson.