Damian Jones started the season in Phoenix but could never consistently break into the rotation behind players such as Deandre Ayton, Frank Kaminsky, Jae Crowder, and Dario Saric.
However, without Anthony Davis through mid-March, the Lakers are looking for help at the four, so they have signed Jones to a 10-day contract, the team announced Friday.
Jones brings athleticism to the front line, something the Lakers need more of without Davis’ versatility. Marc Gasol starts at center, and the Lakers have Montrezl Harrell off the bench, but without Davis they have been shorthanded.
That the Lakers went with someone on a 10-day contract — which can be extended with a second 10-day after the first — speaks to them keeping their roster flexibility open as they head into the trade deadline and buyout season. The Lakers have a couple of open roster spots after waiving Quinn Cook, however, they are limited in their options due to being hard-capped (they only have about $1.6 million to spend).
Hard cap ramifications for LAL on the Damian Jones 10-Day:
$110,998 toward the tax/hard cap
Jones will earn $118,983 (4 YOS)
$1.62M below the hard cap
The 10-Day expires on March 7
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) February 26, 2021
Jones was drafted by the Warriors out of Vanderbilt with the 30th pick back in 2016. He spent three seasons with Golden State before being traded to Atlanta. He had signed as a free agent with Phoenix for this season. He averaged 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds a game in limited minutes with the Suns.