The Los Angeles Lakers decided to bolster their undermanned frontcourt after Anthony Davis injured his Achilles and calf last month, addressing the issue by signing Damian Jones to a 10-day contract.
The 25-year-old center managed to get a start in a Purple and Gold jersey soon after arriving at Staples Center as L.A.’s inactive list grew longer ahead of the clash with the Sacramento Kings. However, in the absence of Marc Gasol ruled out by coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols, Jones contributed just one offensive rebound and a block in nearly 15 minutes on the floor and the Lakers lost 123-120.
Nevertheless, the two-time NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors added some much-needed size and lob threat to the Lakers’ roster. And head coach Frank Vogel suggested he might stay with the team besides his initial trial period, although that remains to be seen.
“I’m not certain about what we’re going to do but I think he’s played very well in the opportunities that he’s gotten and it showed us a lot,” he said.
“He’s got great size, he’s a wonderful young man to be around our team and a culture fit, and he’s got a skill set that fits the modern NBA. I would say that he should be optimistic about what’s ahead of him.”
Kyle Kuzma recently spoke of Jones’ chances to stick around in a similar fashion. “Man, I think he’s got a shot to be here if he can just do what he did out there,” he said after the 117-91 blowout win over the Warriors last week.
“Be a lob threat, got a big-time block. I don’t know how many minutes he played — might’ve been seven or eight — but had three rebounds in that time, and that’s a good rebounding rate. If he can do those things in small stints he’s got a chance to be here.”
Lakers reportedly interested in Drummond, Whiteside, McGee
Jones will figure out his future soon as his contract ends during the current All-Star Weekend break. Meanwhile, the Lakers are still being linked with other big men including Andre Drummond, Hassan Whiteside and JaVale McGee.
Although Jones worked hard to get the most out of his chance with L.A., the rumors might suggest the Lakers are looking for a more permanent solution at the center position.
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