As the end of the 2018-19 regular season approaches, the Los Angeles Lakers focus has shifted to the development of young players. With the postseason long out of reach, the organization has no choice but to evaluate its talent as it gears for a monumentally significant offseason.
Among the team’s recent paradigm of development has been using the G-League pipeline for the final roster spot, previously opened in the trade of Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasley for Mike Muscala.
The Lakers have, so far, called up last year’s storybook hero, Andre Ingram, as well as Scott Machado, both from the South Bay Lakers. As Machado’s 10-day contract comes to an end, the organization is now expected to call up his G-League teammate, Jemerrio Jones.
The news was first reported by Lauren Jones of the LA Sentinel and later confirmed by Shams Charania of The Athletic.
According to Charania, the Lakers are offering Jones a two-year contract (which would include the rest of that season). That would likely give the team an opt-out clause in the offseason if they need to clear space without eating dead money.
Jones has been the rising star of the South Bay Lakers, arriving into the spotlight due to his versatile game. In his first season in the G-League, Jones has averaged 9.4 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 53.9 percent from the field.
The soon-to-be 24-year-old went undrafted out of New Mexico State but was selected with the 18th overall pick in the G-League Draft by the Santa Cruz Warriors. The 6-5 forward was acquired by the Lakers affiliate on draft night.