Lakers Make Key Roster Change Ahead of Trade Deadline: Report

Lakers News

Getty The Lakers will not re-sign Damian Jones.

The Los Angeles Lakers are moving on from center Damian Jones who played some key minutes for the team in recent weeks including six starts. After signing Jones to two consecutive ten-day contracts, the Lakers are not re-signing the center, per Los Angeles Times’ Dan Woike.

“Sources say the Lakers are not re-signing center Damian Jones for the rest of the season after his second 10-day contract expired,” Woike noted on Twitter. “Jones has been a fill-in starter and played well, but hard cap, roster limitations win out in the end.”

Jones averaged 5.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and .9 blocks in 14 minutes per game in his eight appearances with the Lakers. The move means the Lakers head into the NBA trade deadline with two open roster spots. Fans can expect the Lakers to be active in the buyout market after the deadline passes.

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Vogel Noted the Lakers Wanted to See ‘More of What He Did’ After the Team Signed Jones to a 2nd Contract

After the Lakers’ loss to the Hawks, head coach Frank Vogel indicated the team had not made a decision on Jones’ future. Multiple reports show things have changed for the Lakers. After the Lakers signed Jones to his second contract, Vogel detailed what he wanted to see from the center.

“I want to see more of what he did,” Vogel said earlier this month, per Lakers Nation. “I thought he played well for us. He plays the role of a lob threat. Don’t try to play outside of that lane offensively, to be a screener and a lob threat and a rebounder offensively. And then defensively, to be able to man the middle. Be a shot blocker and play within our pick-and-roll coverages and obviously to rebound the ball and match up with other team’s bigger centers I think is what we asked him last week. I thought he did well with it and we will continue to look at that over the next 10 days.”

The Lakers Continue to be Linked to Andre Drummond

The decision opens up an additional roster spot that the Lakers could use ahead of the March 25th NBA trade deadline. It would allow the Lakers to take back two additional players in a potential trade, but that does not mean fans should expect the team to make a major deal. The Lakers are more likely to utilize the open spots in the buyout market after the deadline.

Los Angeles continues to be linked to Cleveland center Andre Drummond, but the Cavs’ preference is to get something in return for the big man in a trade. Drummond’s $28.7 million salary makes a trade to the Lakers extremely unlikely.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Lakers and the Nets are the top landing spots for Drummond if he receives a buyout. Under this scenario, Wojnarowski believes the Lakers have the edge as Drummond would have a good chance to start in Los Angeles.

“I think Drummond has more value to the Lakers right now,” Wojnarowski said on The Woj Pod. “He goes to the Lakers, he’s starting at center for them. Not sure about that in Brooklyn, maybe, but you still have DeAndre Jordan there and Blake Griffin once he gets healthy playing some small-ball center. But certainly, there will be great interest with him there and also, of course, the Lakers.”

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