Lakers Not Re-Signing Damian Jones

Lakers center Damian Jones, whose second 10-day contract with Los Angeles expired overnight, will not be retained on a rest-of-season deal, per Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times.

Jones has suited up in eight contests for the Lakers so far (including six starts, with Marc Gasol sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols). Woike notes that roster limitations impeded on Jones getting further time with the club.

With the departure of Jones, the Lakers have two open roster spots. That flexibility could come in handy as they look for help in the trade and buyout markets as All-Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis remain out. The team may prefer to add a more seasoned big man like Andre Drummond, should the Cavaliers center become available on the buyout market.

As Kevin Pelton of ESPN details, the Lakers are only about $1.7MM below their hard cap, which will limit the amount of salary they can take on in any deal. Woike also mentioned the hard cap was a consideration in the Lakers’ decision to move on from Jones.

Jones, 25, spent his first three NBA seasons as an occasional player for some loaded Warriors teams. He spent all of the 2019/20 season with the Hawks. This year, he logged 14 games in Phoenix before latching on with Los Angeles. He averaged 5.4 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 0.9 BPG across 14.0 MPG in his eight contests with LA.

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