The Los Angeles Lakers brought on a familiar face early into the offseason by signing center Damian Jones on a two-year deal.
The athletic 27-year-old big man has bounced around the league in his six seasons. He had a short stint with the Lakers during the 2021-22 season bringing high energy, but he was cut after eight games. He quickly signed a 10-day with the Sacramento Kings after and spent the last season with them as well.
Jones provides a lob threat and strong rim protection behind Anthony Davis, a formula the Lakers used during their 2020 title run. He expressed excitement about playing next to Davis, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook.
With the right confidence, Jones can be a huge part of the Purple and Gold next season. Head coach Darvin Ham is already in Jones’ ear about his importance. Ham is already leaving a strong impression on the new Laker.
“Going from last season, you know, it was definitely instilling the confidence. I worked on my game a lot, so I always knew it was there,” Jones said. “And to be able to have the opportunity to go out there and do it, you know, feel good, so feel comfortable in different situations, and talking to Coach Ham, it was great. It was a good feeling, you know, he’s instilling confidence in me and just gonna be able to go out there and work with him I know I’m going to get a lot better.”
During his season and a half with the Kings, Jones averaged career highs in points, rebounds and minutes per game.
Working closer with Ham may uncover untapped potential for Jones, especially because of Ham’s experience in Milwaukee with Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis. Portis and Lopez underwent major resurgences as their careers seemed to be dwindling down.
Jones is eager to follow a similar model to theirs.
“They’re both forces to be reckoned with. Brook was always very good. And, you know, Bobby was too but, you know, just seeing the different things they’re able to do,” Jones said. “You know, they both shoot the ball well. They both have post-game stuff, too. So being able to do that as well.”
Implementing a post-game would be an interesting development for Jones. But for now, his presence in the paint is a huge help for the Lakers.
Magic Johnson praises Lakers free agent signings
Magic Johnson is becoming more known for his Twitter than for his play in the 1980s. He often reacts to sports news, including the Lakers’ recent free-agent signings.
He expressed his excitement about Thomas Bryant’s ability to shoot the three next to LeBron and Davis. He also said the Lakers are becoming “younger and more athletic,” which is a complete 360 from the last offseason. Whether Magic is right or not is still up for the jury, but he’s having fun on Twitter again.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!