Damian Jones Exercises 2023/24 Option With Jazz

Veteran center Damian Jones has exercised his player option for the 2023/24 season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

The move guarantees Jones’ minimum salary ($2,586,665) for next season, so the Jazz will be on the hook for that full amount.

The opt-in doesn’t necessarily assure the big man of a return to Utah though, since he’ll immediately become trade-eligible once his option is officially picked up. He could be traded or released if he’s not in the team’s plans going forward.

A former first-round pick, Jones signed with the Lakers last offseason after playing for five different teams in his first six NBA seasons, then was sent to the Jazz in the three-team trade-deadline deal involving D’Angelo Russell, Russell Westbrook, and Mike Conley.

Jones saw more regular playing time in Utah than he had in Los Angeles, averaging 4.6 points and 3.5 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per contest in his 19 appearances. In total, he played in 41 regular season games and averaged 3.5 PPG and 3.0 RPG in 11.6 MPG.

Jones, who will turn 28 later this month, is the first of four Jazz veterans to make a decision on a player option for 2023/24. Jordan Clarkson, Talen Horton-Tucker, and Rudy Gay also have player option decisions to make by June 29.

[RELATED: NBA Player Option Decisions For 2023/24]

Gay is considered a virtual lock to opt in, since he won’t exceed his $6.48MM option salary as a free agent, whereas Clarkson is a good candidate to decline his $14.26MM option and seek a multiyear deal. Horton-Tucker ($11.02MM) could go either way.

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