Jones played college basketball at Temple University alongside guard and future NBA player Aaron McKie. He was selected 10th overall in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. In his rookie season he averaged 14.0 points per game and 2.05 steals per game, and played in 64 games, 58 of which he started. In the 94-95 Rookie Challenge he won the MVP, posting a game-high 25 points, 6 steals, and 4 rebounds. It would pave his way towards numerous defense-team honors. He spent his first five season with the Lakers, before being traded to the Charlotte Hornets on March 10, 1999 to free up more playing time for a rapidly improving Kobe Bryant. Jones was a mentor for Bryant during his time with the Lakers, as both had ties to the Philadelphia area, with Jones having attended Temple University and Bryant having attended Lower Merion High School near Philadelphia.
Eddie Jones' best season was 1999-2000 with the Hornets when he averaged 20.1 points per game. Known for his pesky defense, Jones was named to the 1997-98 and 1998-99 NBA All-Defensive Second Team, in an extremely competitive '90s era. In the off-season following that year he was traded to the Miami Heat where he played consistently for five seasons before being dealt to the Memphis Grizzlies for James Posey and Jason Williams on August 2, 2005 in a record five-team, thirteen-player trade. He averaged 18.5 points per game in the 2002-2003 season, his best with Miami. In his final season with the Heat (2004-05), his scoring average had dipped to 12.7 points per game, as he focused more on being a role player to reasonable success, alongside Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal.
Jones has been known to disappear in clutch situations, such as during games five through seven in the eastern conference finals vs. Detroit and vs. Indiana in the 2004 Eastern Conference semifinals. Prior to the 2000-2001 season, the Miami Heat awarded Eddie Jones with a maximum contract for his stellar accolades such as three-time All-Star and NBA steals leader. The Miami Heat organization and its fans had hoped he would be able to build upon his career-best year, but were disappointed with his tendency to be a non-factor in crucial games, coupled with his sub-par 17.2 points per game. After an off-season in which Heat President Pat Riley handed out contracts to two under-achieving players (Brian Grant), Heat fans were never able to appreciate Jones, despite the steady scoring he provided in five years of service with the Heat.
Eddie Jones currently ranks seventh all-time in career three-point field goals made