It appears the Los Angeles Lakers will not re-sign Scott Machado to another 10-day contract as they reportedly have plans to fill use their final roster spot to take a closer look at another South Bay Lakers standout in Jemerrio Jones.
Here’s the report from Lauren A. Jones of L.A. Sentinel News — who we should note was also first on the news of the Andre Ingram call-up:
Update: The Lakers confirmed they will sign Jones on Sunday morning.
Jones’ deal is a two-year contract, with a team option for the 2019-20 season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, and it sounds like that might be because L.A likes him:
He's been mentioned to me as a G League guy the Lakers would like to hold onto. https://t.co/HKURJT4PQS— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) March 30, 2019
South Bay acquired the draft rights to Jones, the 18th pick in the 2018 NBA G League Draft, from the Santa Cruz Warriors in October. Since then, the 6-foot-5 forward has established himself as one of the most hard-nosed and energetic players in the G League.
In 47 appearances for South Bay, the 23-year-old averaged 9.4 points per game on 54.4 percent shooting from the field while grabbing a team-high 9.6 rebounds per game. The only other players to match those averages this season are all at least 6-foot-8.
Jones is also a capable playmaker, dishing out 3.5 assists per game. However, as much value as Jones brings offensively, he’ll likely make his money at the next level with the intensity he displays on the defensive end.
As a one-on-one defender, Jones can hold his own, but where he really shines is as an off-ball defender. Throughout the G League regular season, Jones was regularly diving for loose balls and cutting off passing lanes for steals, as evidenced by the 1.4 steals per game he averaged this past season. Defensively, he shares a lot of the traits fans like about Lonzo Ball.
The key for Jones unlocking his potential at the next level will be his development as a 3-point shooter. Jones shot a respectable 34.1 percent for South Bay this season, but on just 44 total attempts. Jones doesn’t have to blossom into a lights out 3-point shooter to have a successful career in the NBA, but baskets will come a lot easier to him at the next level if he can force defenses to respect him from behind the arc.
Although Jones technically has a team option in his contract for next season, he’s more likely to return to the Lakers on a two-way contract than he is using one of the 15 guaranteed roster spots.
Expect an official announcement from the team within the coming days.