Jemerrio Jones’ return to the Lakers was a short-lived one, as the team is no longer listing him on its roster after the expiration of his initial 10-day hardship deal.
The team listed James on its roster in the game notes they send to the media prior to Friday’s matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers, but quietly took him off the list of players ahead of their Sunday matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves after his 10 days were up on Friday.
Jones was one of the first 10-day signings for the Lakers, and joined at a time when the team’s roster was fully in the throes of a legitimate COVID outbreak that had left numerous players in isolation. As a result, he featured in his first two games on the roster, but only for a combined 14 minutes across the pair of games, and has not played since Dec. 23.
As the Lakers returned closer to full health and more players became available, potential minutes for Jones only continued to dwindle as he remained on the bench.
But even if the Lakers had wanted to keep Jones around as a body for practices and shootarounds, it would not be possible under the current circumstances. With only one player currently in health and safety protocols in Rajon Rondo, and two other replacement players signed already in Darren Collison and Stanley Johnson, Jones is also on the wrong side of a numbers game. The team simply couldn’t have brought him back under the current rules without cutting someone.
That being said, Jones’ limitations as a player, paired with the Lakers' needs, also don’t make him a great fit. With the team needing big wings that can also stretch the floor, Jones’ unique skillset as 6’5” guard with a remarkably high rebounding rate — but poor shooting stroke — doesn’t really fill any meaningful holes the Lakers have.
Jones was always going to be a last resort for the team during this stretch, though, and while his first go-round with the team offered some sunshine in a frustrating season, that just wasn’t the case this time around. Still, best of luck to Jemerrio wherever he lands next, hopefully with an NBA team where he can get another real shot.