Because giving up Quinn Cook cut the Lakers down to 13 players, they only had two weeks to sign someone with a contract of at least 10 days to bring their roster to the league low of 14 players, as described by our own Christian. Rivas this morning. A few hours later, that’s exactly what the Lakers had done, announcing that they had signed Damian Jones to a 10-day contract in a press release on Friday.
The Los Angeles Lakers signed center Damian Jones to a 10-day contract, Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Rob Pelinka announced today.
Jones has played in 118 career games (49 as a starter) for Golden State, Atlanta and Phoenix, with averages of 4.3 points (.657 FG%) and 2.8 rebounds in 13.3 minutes. Last season with Atlanta, Jones scored 5.6 points (.680 tc%) and 3.7 rebounds. In 14 games for Phoenix this year, he had 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds per game.
In theory, Jones could be available against the Portland Trail Blazers tonight, but it seems highly unlikely that he will play in his first game for this team, and certainly not in significant minutes.
Jones most recently played for the Suns, who fired him Tuesday. This is where I will notice that I know very little about his game, but roughly it appears to be the kind of traditional-sized athletic center this team hasn’t had on their roster this year. Still, it doesn’t look like he’s going to be a secret star or featured collaborator, based on our Bright Side of the Sun friends from his story when Jones was fired:
Jones, 25, signed a 2-year, unsecured contract with the Suns this November in hopes of propping up the center rotation. His contract was fully guaranteed on February 25 (Thursday).
He played 14 games in total averaging just 6.7 minutes per game.
Jones scored more fouls and turnovers (25) than points (22) in his 94 total minutes for Phoenix. He never looked comfortable in his system on both sides of the floor, even in garbage time, so this is not a surprise.
But all that said, we should also point out that men with 10-day deals almost never make a difference. Seeing Jones as a savior, or to fix much of what ails the Lakers, even with Anthony Davis out, is a mistake. While it would obviously be wonderful for the team if Jones could help, they are more likely to just take a flyer on a guy as an extended test while they stick to league rules and bide their time to further evaluate their options for your final list of places.
The Lakers’ hard cap space dropped to $ 1.63 million from $ 1.74 million.
My feeling is that another 10 days will pass until March. By the time we get into acquisition season (late March / early April), the prorated minimum will be small enough for the Lakers to sign two players directly. https://t.co/9MizSJTvD7
– Yossi Gozlan (@YossiGozlan) February 26, 2021
And for whatever it’s worth, one of Jones’s agents, CAA’s Austin Brown, also represents Kyle Kuzma, so there is familiarity between Pelinka and his reps, which is often an issue with the guys hired during 10 days in situations like this.
Jones will now have 10 days to prove himself with the Lakers, who can cut him at any time. They have four games in that stretch, although it seems unlikely Jones will play significant minutes in any of them. The Lakers can sign him to a second 10-day contract when it expires, but after that they would have to let him go or sign him for the rest of the season.
But simply put, as my friend Alex Regla succinctly pointed out in our Slack after Jones signed, “the correct reaction to any 10 day is … it’s a 10 day.” We’ll see if Jones can be more than that, but this firm appears to be primarily a procedural flier for now. It’s not worth overreacting one way or another.
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