The Los Angeles Lakers have a couple of open roster spots open still following their signing of Rajon Rondo that will bring the two-time champion back to the team. They seem to be pondering what they will do at center, evidenced by previous reports of the uncertainty with Marc Gasol’s future on the team as well as Adrian Wojnarowski’s recent report that they could be serious contenders for DeAndre Jordan if he gets bought out by the Detroit Pistons. In addition to Jordan, it sounds like the Lakers had an interest in another lob threat for LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. That lob threat would have been another returning Laker, and this time, it would have been a quick return in one Damian Jones.
Here’s what Marc Stein had to say about the Lakers’ interest in his Substack newsletter:
The recent report from my Bleacher Report colleague Jake Fischer that the Lakers will have interest in DeAndre Jordan when the former All-Star center secures his expected buyout from the Nets was the latest signal that Los Angeles and Marc Gasol could be headed for a separation even though Gasol still has one season left on his contract with L.A. League sources say that the Lakers had strong interest earlier in the summer in trying to reacquire Damian Jones, but Sacramento elected to retain Jones and make his contract guaranteed for the coming season even though the Kings already have Richaun Holmes, Tristan Thompson, Alex Len and (yes, still) Marvin Bagley III.
Damian Jones played in 8 games for the Lakers during a stretch of time in the 2020-21 season where they were without Anthony Davis and they had not yet brought in Andre Drummond. As they were stretched at the position, Jones even started in 6 games before the Lakers decided to not renew the 10-day contract he was on at the time. He finished the season with the Sacramento Kings, and as Stein noted, they guaranteed his contract.
Jones will start the season with the Kings, but with all the big men on the roster at this time, who knows if they might buy him out or even release him. If the Lakers don’t end up signing Jordan, there might still be a reunion on the horizon for the team and Damian Jones.