Lakers News: Damian Jones Signs Two-Year Contract
Damian Jones, Lakers
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have announced the signing of center Damian Jones to a two-year contract. The terms of the deal were not released but the contract reportedly includes a player option for the second season and is for the veteran’s minimum.

Jones played in eight games for L.A. in 2020-21 after signing a couple of 10-day deals with the Lakers in February 2021. He averaged 5.4 points and 3.3 rebounds during his short stint with the team. He started in six of those games.

After the Purple and Gold didn’t offer Jones a contract until the end of the season, he signed with the Sacramento Kings — where he stayed for 2021-22. The 6-foot-11 center averaged 7.8 points and 4.4 rebounds in 73 games for the Kings, starting 19 of them.

Jones adds the much-needed athleticism and lob threat to the Lakers roster, features they lacked after embracing small-ball last season.

The 27-year-old has proven to be an effective finisher around the rim, shooting 65.8% from the field since starting his NBA career in 2016. He also possesses great defensive instincts — an important characteristic considering L.A.’s defensive vulnerability in the paint last year.

The Lakers reportedly showed interest in Jones ahead of the 2021 free agency, but the Kings decided to keep him for another season.

Lakers remain interested in Thomas Bryant

While the Lakers added one center in Jones, they may be looking to add another in free agency and it could be another familiar face.

The Lakers are reported to be among the teams with interest in Thomas Bryant, who they drafted in 2017. After spending his rookie season in L.A., Bryant was waived and went to the Washington Wizards.

It appears his tenure in Washington is coming to an end though, which could pave the way for Bryant to return to the Lakers.

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