Damian Jones’ second 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Lakers expired on Sunday and the team didn’t offer him a contract for the remainder of the season. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Jones won’t suit up for the Lakers again this season.
Before the Lakers’ 111-94 loss to the Suns on Sunday, Frank Vogel said that he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of Jones re-joining the team later in the season.
“With DJ, the door’s not closed, but we’re going to use this time — this window of time here approaching the trade deadline and buyout market — to maintain our flexibility during this stretch and see what’s head of us,” Vogel said. “DJ did a great job for us and the door’s not closed.”
The Lakers certainly could have used Jones’ size on Sunday. With Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol sidelined with their respective injuries and Jones off of the roster, Vogel started Markieff Morris at center against the Suns. Even if Davis and Gasol were healthy, Jones would have added a different dynamic to the team with his combination of size and athleticism.
Jones may still get the opportunity to fill the Lakers’ need for a rim-running, shot-blocking center, but, like Vogel noted, the team is going to wait and see what happens at the trade deadline — or should I say, what happens with Andre Drummond. The Lakers have been heavily linked to Drummond for several weeks now, and with the trade deadline just four days away, they’ll know sooner rather than later how realistic of an option he is.
If Drummond is traded or signs with another team like the Brooklyn Nets, who he’s also expected to consider if he’s bought out, then Jones’ chances of playing in Los Angeles again will surely increase, but even then, the Lakers have already been tied to more established centers like DeMarcus Cousins and Hassan Whiteside in the last month. Suffice to say, the next few days could get interesting.