The Lakers have signed Jemerrio Jones from the G League’s Wisconsin Herd as a replacement player in light of the team’s current COVID outbreak, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
A former Laker, Jones was a feel-good story at the tail end of a frustrating 2018-19 season. That offseason, Jones was a cap casualty as he was dealt with Mo Wagner and Isaac Bonga to the Wizards to further clear cap space and allow the team to chase Kawhi Leonard while also acquiring Anthony Davis.
Jones has played 11 games in the G League this season for the Wisconsin Herd, scoring 6.5 points per game while grabbing 8.4 rebounds. He’s attempted just nine three-pointers in 11 contests, making one.
More memorably, though, is that Jones is a former Laker, having played six games with the team at the tail end of the 2018-19 season. During that span, he averaged 4.5 points and 8.2 rebounds, including grabbing 41 rebounds in the team’s final three games of the season.
In the G League this season, Jones’ rebound percentage of 16.5% would rank just below Dwight Howard and just above Anthony Davis on the Lakers current roster, for context. He is an incredible, incredible rebounder. Not just for a small-ish guard, but in general.
For a Lakers team that allowed 16 offensive rebounds and 16 second-chance points to the Bulls on Sunday, Jones fits a rather glaring need. While he does not provide much of an offensive spark, his defense, rebounding and size should allow him to see time on the court as the Lakers battle through their COVID outbreak.
On Sunday night, the league and NBA player’s union announced that they had agreed to new rules that allowed for expanded rosters and more replacement players for teams dealing with COVID outbreaks and players in health and safety protocols.
The rules allow for one replacement player to be signed for each positive COVID test for a player currently on the roster. By rule, if a team has two positive cases, they must sign one replacement player. For three positive cases, they must sign two replacement players and for four or more positive cases, they must sign three replacement players.
Currently, the Lakers have six players in health and safety protocols, forcing them to sign two more replacement players in addition to Isaiah Thomas, who joined the team for Friday’s game against the Timberwolves. The team could sign up to five more replacement players in total.
Also, players on two-way deals will no longer have a 50-game limit this season, as would be the case in normal years, allowing teams to potentially use those players more freely. The Lakers current two-way signees are Chaundee Brown, who has played in each of the team’s last two games, and Jay Huff, who has appeared in two games this year, although they will have to cut one of those players to make room for their reported signing of Mason Jones of the South Bay Lakers.
This developing story will be updated with more information.