Damian Jones finally has a permanent home, with the former Los Angeles Lakers big man agreeing to a multiyear deal with the Sacramento Kings.
The contract keeps Jones with the Kings through next season, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Kings also waived Chris Silva and signed two-way player Chimezie Metu to a standard contract.
The Sacramento Kings are signing center Damian Jones for the rest of the season plus 2021-2022, sources tell ESPN. Kings will waive forward Chris Silva.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 27, 2021
Jones has played 28 games this season with three different teams. After starting the year with the Suns, he played on a pair of 10-day contracts with both the Lakers and Kings.
Jones has appeared in six games for the Kings this season, notching averages of 3.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 15.5 minutes per game.
Jones is a former first-round pick and is just 25 years old. So if the Kings see some potential in him, he has time to blossom into a key piece.
“He’s active. He’s big. He attacks the rim, which is what we’re looking for,” Kings head coach Luke Walton said earlier in the week before the decision was made. “The front office and I talk all the time and I’ve given my opinions on him, and then it’s really their call where they go with it. He’s been given an opportunity and he’s done a very nice job with that opportunity. We’ll see where we go from here.”
Damian Jones Had Solid Showing With Lakers
Jones drew six starts during his time in the purple and gold, giving the Lakers plenty of time to see what he could give them. He averaged 5.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and nearly a block per game. Jones was also very efficient from the field, hitting 16-17 of the shots he took as a member of the Lakers.
However, with the buyout market looming following his second 10-day contract, the Lakers decided to let Jones walk. Teams can only sign a player to a pair of 10-day contracts, per league rules. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was complimentary of Jones during his time with LA.
“He brings great energy. He’s a pogo stick around the basket so he gives us dynamic verticality with his lob-catching ability offensively and defensively he’s really picked up what we’re asking him to do in our pick-and-roll defense and our coverages,” Vogel told reporters. “He provides some length at the basket from a shot-blocking standpoint. He’s played well for us.”
Lakers Figuring Out Chemistry With Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond
After moving on from Jones, the Lakers signed veteran big man Andre Drummond, who has taken over the starting center role. The two-time All-Star center is averaging 11.4 points, 10.4 rebounds and nearly a block per game.
The challenge now is learning how to play effectively alongside Anthony Davis, who returned to the lineup last week.
“I think he’s a great fit for us. He’s been great for us so far. I think it’s only going to get better. The more he continues to learn the system and then the more me and him play with each other, we’ll get better,” Davis told reporters. “When LeBron [James] comes back, he’s getting his lobs. He can be the Andre Drummond that everybody is looking forward to, which he’s been. But I think he’s going to blossom and I think show everyone why he wanted to come here.”
The Lakers are looking to string together wins for the first time since the end of March as they take on Washington on Wednesday. The Lakers are a three-point road favorite for the matchup.
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