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Lakers wanted to bring back Damian Jones in free agency; Kings guaranteed his contract

Lakers wanted to bring back Damian Jones in free agency; Kings guaranteed his contract


The Los Angeles Lakers have a brewing dilemma at the center position as more news and rumors circulate.

Currently on the roster is Anthony Davis, who is expected to log more minutes at the five, Dwight Howard and Marc Gasol.

Gasol, however, isn’t a lock to return next year despite committing to complete his contract with L.A. after his run with Spain in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

With recent rumors of DeAndre Jordan possibly coming via buyout from the Brooklyn Nets and L.A. reportedly searching for centers in case Gasol doesn’t return, it appears L.A. tried re-adding another former Laker in free agency.

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Lakers wanted to bring back Damian Jones:


“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.”

Jones played eight games, and started six, for the Lakers last season on multiple 10-day contracts, but L.A. moved on instead of inking him to a guaranteed deal for the remainder of the season; Andre Drummond would later fill his spot.

The Sacramento Kings picked up Jones shortly after because of the efficiency he displayed in limited minutes. Jones averaged 5.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 0.9 blocks while shooting 94.1% overall and 91.7% from the charity stripe, albeit on low volume, in 14 minutes per game.

The 26-year-old center provided flashes of the rim-running, lob-threat big the Lakers desperately lacked after letting Howard and JaVale McGee walk, but the Kings guaranteed his near $2 million salary for the 2021-22 season instead of releasing him.

Jones will be an unrestricted free agent in 2022, but only time will tell if he’s ever donning the purple and gold again.