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Phoenix Suns waive center Damian Jones

Phoenix Suns center Damian Jones (30) reaches for a pass as Los Angeles Lakers forward Montrezl Harrell (15) defends during the first half of a preseason basketball game, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The Phoenix Suns have waived center Damian Jones, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro confirmed the report and the team made the news official later on Tuesday.

Jones, 25, was signed by Phoenix to a two-year non-guaranteed deal last offseason. His 2020-21 contract was set to become fully guaranteed on Thursday.

The fifth-year center was brought in as a depth option in the frontcourt behind Deandre Ayton and Dario Saric. Jones impressed in the preseason with his mobility on both ends and leaping ability around the basket. With Saric injured to open the year, that gave Jones a chance to show what he could do as Ayton’s backup.

Jones, though, proved to be inconsistent with his basketball IQ and had issues staying out of foul trouble. That was what had plagued the 2016 first-round pick with the Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks as well.

A week into the season, Phoenix claimed former center Frank Kaminsky off waivers. He quickly moved ahead of Jones in the rotation, and from there, Jones hardly played the rest of the year.

In 14 games, Jones averaged 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds per game in 94 total minutes.

The move gives the Suns an open roster spot. With a 20-10 record and looking the part of a player in the Western Conference, the Suns are certainly in a position to potentially land a name on the buyout market. That tends to heat up right after the trade deadline, which is on March 25.

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