The Los Angeles Lakers have kicked off their free agency by bringing back a familiar face. They will reportedly be signing center Damian Jones to a two-year deal. The second-year will be a player option (per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski).
Free agent C Damian Jones has agreed to a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2022
It is unknown at this time how much the contract will be. The Lakers either signed him to the taxpayer mid-level exception that amounts to around $6.4 million per year, or they signed him to a veteran minimum contract. The deal would be a little questionable at the TMLE.
Either way, the Lakers kick off their free agency with a pretty great signing. Ever since Jones played in a 10-day contract for the team during the 2020-21 season, he has been exceling with the Sacramento Kings. Across one-and-a-half seasons with them, he averaged 7.8 points (on 65.8% field-goal shooting), 4.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 18.2 minutes per game. He played 56 games last season, starting 15 of them.
Earlier today, I detailed how Jones could be a great signing for the team if the Magic’s Mo Bamba wasn’t able to be had with their taxpayer mid-level exception (Bamba returned to the Magic on a new deal). He will be a great mobile big to be used in pick-and-rolls with LeBron James and Russell Westbrook (if he’s not dealt for Kyrie Irving or another package by the time next season starts). He’s also a force on defense at the rim, ranking in the 80th percentile in D-LEBRON (B-Ball Index’s advanced defensive metric) compared to all of the NBA.
Welcome back to L.A., Damian Jones!
In addition, the Lakers will not be bringing back Malik Monk as he has taken a deal with more money than what the Lakers could have offered, heading to Sacramento to play with the Kings.
Sources: Malik Monk is signing a two-year, $19M deal to join the Kings. https://t.co/spgbvRZspx
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 30, 2022