Lakers Bring Back Young Forward, Sign Ex-SEC Player of the Year: Report

jemerrio jones

Getty Los Angeles Lakers forward Jemerrio Jones.

Things are getting rocky for the Los Angeles Lakers and NBA as dozens of players are in the league’s health and safety protocols. The Lakers are already missing Anthony Davis and Kendrick Nunn due to injury and continue to lose players due to COVID-19 protocols. The team already signed veteran guard Isaiah Thomas on a hardship exemption but they need even more help.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Lakers have signed forward Jemerrio Jones from G League Wisconsin. He’ll be on a 10-day hardship exemption.

Lakers fans should be familiar with Jones as he briefly spent time with the team in 2019. He played in six games and averaged 4.5 points a game. What was most impressive about him was his rebounding ability. He averaged 8.2 rebounds a game during his brief stint in Los Angeles. That’s an area the Lakers have struggled so perhaps Jones can help them in that regard. It will be difficult for anybody to earn a long-term roster spot on the Lakers but this could help him land on another roster should he play well.

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Mason Jones Also Signed

While the Lakers have already signed two players using the hardship exemption, they still needed more help. Charania also reported that the team is signing Mason Jones off the South Bay Lakers G League team to a two-way contract.

This is only Jones’ second season in the NBA. He spent parts of last season with the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers. He played in 32 total games and averaged 5.3 points a game. He should be somewhat familiar with the team due to his involvement with the South Bay Lakers. He doesn’t have extensive NBA experience but the SEC Co-Player of the Year just a year ago at Arkansas. He’s got some talent but hasn’t had much of a chance to make an NBA impact. The Lakers signed him to a two-way contract so that means he could stick around longer than the players getting signed on a hardship exemption.

Lakers Could Still Need Another Big Man

With Davis expected to miss a big chunk of time due to injury, the Lakers still need a big man. Both players the team just signed aren’t bigs. They have Dwight Howard and Deandre Jordan on the roster but they have limited athleticism at this stage in their careers. Davis is the Lakers’ best defensive player and losing him could lead to some struggles.

The team would be wise to search the trade market for an athletic big. Damian Jones could make sense. He spent time with the Lakers last season and isn’t seeing a lot of minutes with the Sacramento Kings right now. Trading a second-round pick for him makes sense.

The Indiana Pacers could sell the farm which means Myles Turner is available. He’s making a lot more money than Jones so the Lakers would need to offer up Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn to Indiana to make the trade possible. Turner would be very useful to the Lakers now without Davis and would still make an impact when he gets back.

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