Damian Jones

Lakers Officially Sign Jones, Brown, Toscano-Anderson

The Lakers have officially completed three signings, according to a team press release. The trio of players are center Damian Jones, wing Troy Brown and wing Juan Toscano-Anderson.

Jones, Brown and Toscano-Anderson were all signed to minimum-salary contracts. Both Brown and JTA received one-year deals, while Jones got a two-year deal with a player option.

Jones, 27, had a solid season with the Kings in 2021/22 after struggling to find a standard roster spot in ’20/21. In 56 games this season (18.2 MPG), Jones averaged 8.1 PPG and 4.4 RPG while shooting 65.8% from the field and 71.8% from the line.

Brown, 22, was the 15th pick of the 2018 draft and spent his first two-plus seasons with Washington before being traded to Chicago last year. The Bulls declined his qualifying offer after he struggled to make an impact this season, averaging 4.3 PPG and 3.1 RPG on .419/.353/.769 shooting in 66 games (16 MPG).

Toscano-Anderson, 29, spent the last three seasons with the Warriors and recently won a title. In 73 games (13.6 MPG) in ’21/22, he averaged 4.1 PPG, 2.4 RPG and 1.7 APG on .489/.322/.571 shooting.

Because the three players are on minimum contracts, the deals can be completed before the transaction moratorium ends on July 6.

Lakers To Sign Lonnie Walker, Damian Jones, Troy Brown Jr.

The Lakers are signing Lonnie Walker to a one-year, $6.5MM deal, Damian Jones to a two-year, minimum-salary deal with a player option, and Troy Brown Jr. to a minimum deal, according reports from Shams Charania of The Athletic and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (All Twitter links here). Brown’s contract is for one year, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

Walker, 23, was the 18th pick of the 2018 draft and spent his first four seasons with the Spurs. He’s a very athletic guard and has shown glimpses of potential, but struggled with efficiency last season (.407/.314/.784 shooting line).

In 70 games (23 MPG) with San Antonio last season, Walker averaged 12.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG and 2.2 APG. The Spurs decided to withdraw his qualifying offer just before free agency opened, making him unrestricted and free to sign with any team. The move wasn’t very surprising considering the Spurs were better with him off the court (+2.1 net rating) than on it (-3.0), so he’ll be looking to build up his value in Los Angeles after an up-and-down tenure in San Antonio.

Jones, who turns 27 today, had a solid season with the Kings in 2021/22 after struggling to find a standard roster spot in ’20/21. In 56 games this season (18.2 MPG), Jones averaged 8.1 PPG and 4.4 RPG while shooting 65.8% from the field and 71.8% from the line.

After being drafted 30th overall in 2016 by the Warriors, Jones spent his first three seasons with Golden State but struggled to find a consistent role. He’s long and athletic, but was raw coming out of college. He made stops in Atlanta, Phoenix and L.A. from 2019-21 before landing with Sacramento, where he developed into a solid backup center.

Brown, 22, was the 15th pick of the 2018 draft and spent his first two-plus seasons with Washington before being traded to Chicago last year. The Bulls declined his qualifying offer after he struggled to make an impact this season, averaging 4.3 PPG and 3.1 RPG on .419/.353/.769 shooting in 66 games (16 MPG).

By using the taxpayer mid-level exception to sign Walker, the Lakers will be limited to a minimum contract for Max Christie, whom the team selected with the 35th pick of the draft last week. Christie’s deal will be limited to two years, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks relays (via Twitter).

Otto Porter, Gary Harris, T.J. Warren Among Lakers’ Potential FA Targets

The Lakers‘ options on the free agent market this week will likely be limited, since the team will only be able to offer the $6.5MM taxpayer mid-level exception or a minimum-salary contract to potential targets. However, as Jovan Buha of The Athletic writes, the team will still aim high, hoping to sell players on the opportunity to start and the ability to increase their stock with a strong year in Los Angeles, like Malik Monk did in 2021/22.

According to Buha, youth, length, athleticism, and shooting are among the traits the Lakers will be prioritizing. Two-way wings who could come in and potentially start alongside Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook will be a priority, sources tell The Athletic.

Here are some details on the types of players the Lakers will be eyeing in free agency:

Kings Notes: Gentry, Jones, Metu, Mitchell

Alvin Gentry will likely coach his final game with the Kings today, but he didn’t want to talk about his future Saturday night, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. In a pre-game meeting with reporters, Gentry brushed aside the topic when asked if he wants to remain with the organization beyond this season.

“I’ve not talked to anybody about that and I’m sure that’s going to come quickly after the season is over, so I’ll leave it at that,” Gentry said. “I’m sure that’s something that’s going to happen pretty quickly after the season.”

Gentry, who started the season as the team’s associate head coach, was promoted to interim coach in November when Sacramento decided to fire Luke Walton 17 games into the season. Gentry was previously able to remain as head coach of the Pistons and Suns after taking over those teams on an interim basis, but it doesn’t appear that will happen with the Kings, who are reportedly looking at established names such as Mike D’Antoni and Terry Stotts, among others.

There’s more from Sacramento:

  • More changes are expected after another losing season, and they could include Damian Jones, who is headed for free agency after spending his first full season with the Kings. The 26-year-old center played 55 games this year, starting 14, and averaged a career-high 7.9 points per night. “We’ll see what happens in the summer,” he said Saturday when asked about his free agent plans. “… I’ve gained more chemistry with the guys and we see eye-to-eye on some things, so we’ll see what happens when that time comes.” (Twitter link from Anderson)
  • Chimezie Metu is also uncertain about his future, tweets James Ham of ESPN 1320. Metu became a regular part of a rotation this season for the first time in his four-year NBA career, playing 59 games and averaging 8.9 points and 5.6 rebounds in 21.2 minutes per night. However, his $1.91MM contract for next season is non-guaranteed. “The one thing I learned about this league really fast is that situations can change really fast,” Metu said. “You can’t fall in love with your situation, whether it’s good or bad. Wherever I end up, whether it’s here, another team, it is what it is.”
  • Losing has been an adjustment for Davion Mitchell, who won an NCAA title last season at Baylor, but he believes things are going to improve, Anderson adds in a separate story. Before setting the franchise mark for assists by a rookie in a single game earlier this week, Mitchell addressed Sacramento fans and promised, “This offseason we’re going to get better and make you guys proud.”

COVID Updates: Porzingis, Chriss, Kidd, Jones

Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis has cleared the league’s health and safety protocols and is listed as a probable starter on Saturday. However, it’s not certain he will play, since Dallas has always been cautious regarding Porzingis’ health and he hasn’t practiced for a couple of weeks, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News notes (Twitter links). Porzingis, who is averaging 20.6 PPG and 8.0 RPG, hasn’t played since New Year’s Eve.

We have more COVID-19 related news:

  • Marquese Chriss will remain with the Mavericks but will be inactive with Porzingis off the protocols list, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets. The Mavs will look at their options to create roster spot for Chriss after his latest 10-day contract under the hardship exception expires on January 20. Chriss is averaging 6.8 PPG and 3.9 RPG in 12 games with the Mavs.
  • Dallas coach Jason Kidd is also out of protocols and will return to the bench when the team faces Orlando, Townsend tweets.
  • Kings big man Damian Jones has cleared the protocols, James Ham of The Kings Beat tweets. He made his last appearance on January 7 and is now reconditioning.

COVID-19 Updates: Powell, Kings, Pacers, Lopez, Springer, Pons

Trail Blazers wing Norman Powell entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

As our tracker shows, Powell is currently the only Portland player in the protocols. However, the Trail Blazers are also missing Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum due to injuries, so Powell’s absence means the team is without its three top scorers. Lillard, McCollum, and Powell are averaging a combined 63.2 points per game so far this season.

Here are more protocol-related updates from around the NBA:

  • The Kings added one big man – center Damian Jones – to the protocols on Sunday as another – forward/center Chimezie Metu – exited, per reports from James Ham of ESPN 1320 and Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter links).
  • Pacers swingman Torrey Craig and center Isaiah Jackson were back at practice on Sunday, signaling they’ve cleared the protocols, tweets James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star. Indiana still has four players in the protocols.
  • Robin Lopez remained sidelined for Sunday’s game vs. Washington, but the Magic center was no longer listed in the protocols, having progressed to return to competition reconditioning (Twitter link via Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel).
  • Sixers rookie Jaden Springer has exited the protocols, but has been ruled out for Monday’s game in Houston due to a non-COVID illness, as Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer relays (via Twitter).
  • Grizzlies two-way player Yves Pons was placed in the health and safety protocols on Saturday, but was no longer listed in the protocols for Sunday’s game, suggesting he registered a false positive or inconclusive test (Twitter links).

Western Notes: Jones, Lakers, House, M. Brown, Mavs

The Lakers were interested earlier in the summer in big man Damian Jones before the Kings chose to guarantee his salary, according to Marc Stein of Substack. Jones had his $1.98MM salary guaranteed last month despite a glut of centers on Sacramento’s roster. Jones played eight games for the Lakers last season. Los Angeles is expected to sign DeAndre Jordan once he’s bought out by the Pistons and clears waivers.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Danuel House is likely to be dealt during the upcoming season, Rahat Huq of the Houston Chronicle opines. House has an expiring $3.98MM contract and doesn’t have a future on the rebuilding Rockets. He appeared in just 36 games last season but might bring back a late first-rounder from a contender seeking depth at the wing, Huq adds.
  • Moses Brown is working closely with longtime NBA center Tyson Chandler to improve his game, Dwain Price of Mavs.com writes. Brown was traded twice this offseason and was forwarded by Boston to the Mavericks in the Josh Richardson deal. “He’s been helping Moses a little bit in the gym just to kind of help him get a feel for things,” Al Whitley, GM of the G League Texas Legends, said of Chandler. “So to have a guy like Tyson Chandler as a mentor – someone who is a championship player, who brings what Tyson brought to the court, his intensity, toughness, all those types of things – that’s now being shared with Moses.”
  • Free agents Lance Stephenson and Isaiah Thomas left positive impressions during the workouts with the Mavericks, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweets. Dallas is seeking more backcourt depth and both veterans guards are looking to revive their NBA careers.

Kings Guarantee Salaries For Damian Jones, Chimezie Metu

The Kings have guaranteed the contracts of center Damian Jones and Chimezie Metu, according to tweets from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and NBC Sports Bay Area’s James Ham, respectively. Jones’ contract is now fully guaranteed while Metu received a partial guarantee.

The 26-year-old Jones, the former 30th overall pick by the Warriors in 2016, was assured of his $1.98MM salary for 2021/22 as long as he wasn’t waived today, ESPN’s Bobby Marks explains (via Twitter). After bouncing around the league, Jones finished last season in Sacramento, playing 17 games for the Kings and averaging 6.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 1.0 BPG in 20 minutes a night.

His play as the team’s backup center at the end of the season allowed him to parlay his two separate 10-day contracts into a partially-guaranteed deal. He will now go into the season holding onto the Kings’ 14th roster spot.

Metu, who was converted from a two-way contract at the end of last season, is he Kings’ 15th man for the time being. The 24-year-old power forward/center has improved each year in the league, averaging 6.3 PPG and 3.1 RPG while shooting 35% from three last season, all career-highs.

According to Ham, Metu’s contract is now partially guaranteed for $881,398 — it has the potential to be worth $1.8MM over the entire season if he sticks with the team.

Kings Sign Damian Jones To Multiyear Deal

APRIL 28: Jones’ deal is now official, the Kings announced in a press release.

“Damian provides a defensive presence and has fit in nicely with our group,” general manager Monte McNair said in a statement. “We are excited to see his continued growth in Sacramento.”

The team also announced that Silva has been officially released, which accommodated the promotion of Chimezie Metu to the 15-man roster.


APRIL 27: Damian Jones‘ second 10-day contract with the Kings expired on Monday night, but the club won’t let him get away. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Jones is signing a rest-of-season contract with Sacramento that will also cover the 2021/22 season.

Although the Kings have an open spot on their 15-man roster and don’t need to cut anyone to make room for Jones, they’ll waive forward Chris Silva, Wojnarowski adds.

Jones, 25, has played for more than half the teams in the Pacific this season, having started the year with Phoenix before he was released by the Suns in February. He later signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Lakers, then joined the Kings for two more 10-day deals.

In total, Jones has appeared in 28 games (10.7 MPG) in 2020/21, averaging 3.1 PPG and 2.4 RPG with a .696 FG%. He had one of his best games of the season on Monday, putting up eight points and seven rebounds in a Kings win over Dallas.

As for Silva, he was acquired by the Kings in a deadline deal that sent Nemanja Bjelica to the Heat and never seemed to be in Sacramento’s future plans. He logged just nine total minutes across four games for the Kings, racking up more fouls (four) than points (two). He’ll become an unrestricted free agent if and when he clears waivers.

Once the Kings complete both transactions, they’ll still have one open spot on their 15-man roster, which they could use to complete another 10-day or rest-of-season signing.

Checking In On Active 10-Day Contracts

Since the NBA’s 10-day signing window for the 2020/21 season officially opened in February, a total of 54 separate 10-day deals have been finalized. Many of those signings have be completed since the trade deadline passed a month ago — 36 10-day contracts have been signed in April alone.

With so much action on the 10-day market, we’re taking a little time today to check in on the 10-day deals that are still active, exploring which of those players are eligible for additional 10-day contracts and which teams are still shuttling players in and out of their back-end roster spots.

Here, with the help of our 10-day tracker and our roster counts page, are the players on active 10-day deals:


Players on their first 10-day contracts:

These players will all be eligible for a second 10-day contract once their current deals expire. In the case of Brown, it’s possible the Thunder would just sign him to a rest-of-season deal if they’re comfortable keeping him around, since a second 10-day deal would run through at least May 14. The regular season ends on May 16.


Players on their second 10-day contracts:

These players won’t be eligible for a new 10-day contract when their current deals expire, since a player can’t sign three 10-day deals with the same team in a single season. It’s a safe bet that some of these players will receive rest-of-season contracts though — I’d be shocked if the Raptors let Gillespie get away, for instance.

Any team here that opts not to re-sign a player to a rest-of-season contract would open up a roster spot, which could be used on another 10-day trial before the regular season ends. Golden State and Portland are carrying just 14 players at the moment, so they’d have each two open roster spots if they don’t re-sign Payton and Hollis-Jefferson, respectively.


There are a handful of other teams that could still take advantage of the 10-day contract before the end of the season. The Heat, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Kings, Spurs, and Wizards all have at least one open roster spot.

The Heat and Pelicans are right up against the luxury tax line and may be done with 10-days for the season, preferring rest-of-season commitments if and when they fill their roster openings. The Wolves, Spurs, and Wizards may end up going that route too, but for now they’re still decent candidates for 10-day signings.

The Kings, meanwhile, had Damian Jones on a pair of 10-day contracts before his second deal expired on Monday night. Head coach Luke Walton spoke positively about Jones’ contributions to the team, as Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee relays (via Twitter), so the veteran center could end up getting a rest-of-season contract. If so, Sacramento would have a full roster and would likely be done with 10-days for the season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.