Lakers Bring Back Fan-Favorite Big Man on Multi-Year Contract After Season Away

damian jones

Getty Los Angeles Lakers center Damian Jones.

The Los Angeles Lakers don’t figure to be major players in free agency due to limited salary cap space. It was thought the team would use their mid-level exception on Malik Monk but the young guard decided to take a better offer from the Sacramento Kings. While the Lakers lost the guard to an inner-state rival, they are taking one of their players.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Los Angeles is signing center Damian Jones to a two-year contract.

The second year of the contract will have a player option, per Wojnarowski.

Jones spent last season in Sacramento where he played in 56 games, starting in 15. Lakers fans are familiar with the center thanks to his brief stint with the team during the 2020-2021 season. Despite only playing in eight games, he became a fan favorite due to the athleticism he brought to the center position. The Lakers could’ve certainly used him last season and missed the opportunity to keep him around when he was on the roster. The team clearly saw the error in not bringing him back and now plan for him to be around for the next two seasons.

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How Does Jones Help the Lakers?

Last offseason, the Lakers spent the early days of free agency signing older veterans. Jones is the first signing the team made this offseason and he’s only 27 years old. Now, he’s not a huge difference-maker. He only averages 5.6 points a game throughout his career with 3.4 rebounds. Luckily, the Lakers don’t need him to light up the stat sheet.

What Jones brings to the team is youth and athleticism. He’ll be a useful piece on defense and could compete for the starting center spot. He’ll be a much better fit than DeAndre Jordan was last season. While the former All-Star had a better resume, Jones is much younger and more athletic. Plus, he has experience with the team and should fit-in well.

Lakers Keeping Stanley Johnson & Wenyen Gabriel

It’s becoming clear that the Lakers know how badly they botched last offseason. The team went from perrininal contenders to dumspter fire in one offseason. A big reason for that was the team’s decision to rely on former All-Star who were past their prime. Jones being the first signing of free agency shows that they’ve learned from their mitskaes.

The Lakers are also planning to keep Stanley Johnson and Wenyen Gabriel around for next season. Netiehr are superstars but they ended up being important pieces for the team last season. They are both young and play with a lot of effort on defense. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Lakers contonued to focus on adding youth this offseason. LeBron James is known to like playing with veterans but that didn’t work last season. It’s time to change the mindset. Head coach Darvin Ham has made it clear he wants the team to play defense and Rob Pelinka needs to give him the neccessary pieces to make that happen.

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