The Los Angeles Lakers heavily shuffled their frontcourt during the 2020-21 season, bringing in Damian Jones on a couple of 10-day deals, among other moves, as the season went on.
The Lakers tried to correct their offseason mistakes after making Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell their go-to options at the 5, which severely hurt their game in the paint. To add some verticality and lob threat, they signed Jones halfway through the year, who averaged 5.4 points and 3.3 rebounds in eight games — starting six of them.
But it quickly turned out the Lakers used Jones as a gap-filler, waiting to snap up Andre Drummond from the buyout market. After leaving L.A., the center penned a contract with the Sacramento Kings until the end of the season and stayed in North California for 2021-22.
But over a year later, Jones reportedly returns to L.A. as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski claims the 27-year-old center has signed a two-year deal with the Purple and Gold:
Jones' agent, Austin Brown of @CAA_Basketball, tells ESPN the second year is a player option.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2022
Jones likely reunites with the Lakers by signing a veteran minimum contract, but the player option in the second year definitely sweetens the deal.
Jones recorded 8.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per night in 56 games for the Kings last season, shooting 65.8% from the field. Interestingly, he also made 34.5% of his triples — although on a very low volume, averaging just 0.5 3-point attempts per game.
Malik Monk signs with Kings
After free agency began on Thursday afternoon, Malik Monk reportedly signed a two-year deal with the Sacramento Kings.
Monk is believed to have penned a $19 million deal with the Kings, a sum way beyond the Lakers’ capabilities to match. The Kentucky alum averaged 13.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.9 assists for L.A. in 76 games last season, shooting 39.1% from beyond the arc.
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