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Lakers sign former Suns center Damian Jones

Phoenix Suns center Damian Jones (30) defends against Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the first half of a preseason basketball game, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The Los Angeles Lakers signed center Damian Jones to a 10-day contract on Friday, the team announced.

Jones began the 2020-21 season with the Phoenix Suns but was waived this week before his contract became fully guaranteed on Thursday.

The 25-year-old appeared in 14 games for Phoenix, averaging 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds on 50% shooting in 6.7 minutes per game.

Jones, a first-round pick from Vanderbilt, was drafted 30th overall by the Golden State Warriors in 2016.

Over 118 career games, the 6-foot-11 center has averages of 4.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in 13.3 minutes per outing.

With the Suns, Jones was the only traditional center behind starter Deandre Ayton but became expendable with Dario Saric’s success playing as a small-ball 5 and Frank Kaminsky’s strong play as well.

Kaminsky, who spent last year in a Phoenix uniform, re-joined the team after being waived by the Sacramento Kings following an offseason and preseason with the Pacific Division foe.

Phoenix not only saved money by waiving Jones but opened up an extra roster spot in case of a move before the March 25 trade deadline.

For the Lakers, the 10-day contract for Jones gives the NBA Finals favorite a look at an athletic center. Los Angeles last year won the championship with a roster stacked with bigs including Anthony Davis, plus centers JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard.

McGee and Howard have since departed but have been replaced by the play-making, ground-bound big man Marc Gasol and the undersized yet energic Montrezl Harrell.


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