There have been a lot of rumors surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers adding a center at the trade deadline or the buyout market. Recently, they decided to sign Damian Jones to a 10-day contract. He looked good in his debut but didn’t do much outside of that game.
Despite the uneven performances, Jones will be getting another 10-day contract from the Lakers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Even with Jones getting another contract, that shouldn’t affect how the team attacks the buyout market in the coming weeks. Jones is a young and athletic big man who has experience on a championship team. In his three games with Los Angeles, he averaged four points a game and 1.7 rebounds.
Jones isn’t the answer for the Lakers have been searching for at center but he’s a solid depth piece to have around. Montrezl Harrell is undersized at center and Marc Gasol is far past his athletic prime. Until Anthony Davis gets back, Jones should get a decent amount of playing time.
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Will Jones Get a 3rd Contract?
Had Jones done more in his first 10 days with the Lakers, he could’ve gotten signed for the rest of the season. He got a little banged up early in the contract and it probably affected his performance. However, Jones only averages 4.2 points a game over his career. This is his fifth season in the NBA so it’s hard to imagine he’ll blow up and become a star center.
The most likely scenario is that the Lakers are holding onto Jones until they can find a long-term option at center. Once they do that, they’ll let his deal expire and move on. Now, if they can’t find a center they like, then perhaps that would open up the door for Jones to finish the season with the Lakers.
Possible Center Targets for Lakers
What doesn’t bode well for Jones is that the Lakers should have several strong options available at center. There appears to be mutual interest between the team and Andre Drummond. Los Angeles would have to hope that he gets a buyout as they won’t be able to trade from him. Drummond is likely their top target.
The Lakers have also been linked to DeMarcus Cousins. He was with the team for much of last season but didn’t play a single game due to injury. He’s currently a free agent so the team can sign him whenever they want. He appears to be the Lakers’ backup plan if they can’t land Drummond.
If Los Angeles strikes out on Cousins and Drummond, they could try to land Hassan Whiteside. He’s not the player he once was but can still block shots with the best of them. If he gets bought out, expect the Lakers to take a look. Other than those three, there hasn’t been a lot linked the team to other players. Nemanja Bjelica of the Sacramento Kings is one more name to keep an eye on.