If there’s one thing the Lakers have missed from their central rotation, it’s a player of both sizes and speed. Mark Gasol has only the first, while Montrell Harrell can boast the second. But although they signed a contract with Damian Jones only on Friday morning and he is still not suitable for the team, he has already shown both qualities in full screen.
The showcase of his size came when Jones sat down to talk to Zoom media before the Lakers’ game against the Portland Trail Blazers. The camera the team had originally created had cut off almost the entire forehead, where Jones̵
The demonstration of his speed came earlier, even if we didn’t know it yet. After being cut off by the Suns on Tuesday, Jones was still in Phoenix around 4pm on Thursday when he received a call from his agent that the Lakers wanted to offer him a 10-day deal. He had to get to Los Angeles by 11:00 p.m. That night to take a coronavirus test and sign a deal so he could be active on Friday, and he still had to rent a car before he could leave. . But Jones hurried and did it with a 20-minute reserve.
As a result of his haste to reach Los Angeles and boast the size the Lakers are somewhat lacking, while Anthony Davis is eliminated, Jones may get a chance, although head coach Frank Vogel admitted that before the game Jones was “a little probably “to play against the Blazers. But when Jones enters the game, he, Vogel and general manager Rob Pelinka see their skills as an archetype that Lakers fans have complained about missing the team for weeks.
“It’s kind of like the role of JaVale and Dwight last year, how they’re going to grab rims and protect the rim, things like that. “I’m trying to bring the same things,” Jones said. “Vertical distance at the offensive end to protect the rim.”
This is a rather sublime comparison for a man the Lakers basically introduce as a celebrated rehearsal, but although he did not use the names of Howard and McGee, it is almost identical to the terms Vogel described in Jones’ play.
“He carries a vertical distance on both sides of the ball. The threat from the lobe, but also the verticality and blocking of the shot on the edge. He definitely has a set of skills that can help us, “Vogel said. “He is a talented young man and a very shiny young man. So we are excited to look at it over the next 10 days. “
Although apparently this year’s front court brings its own unique and positive skill sets, during the season the duo Harel and Gasol completed only 4 alleys-up, taken together (counting both dives and bets)
Vertical play seems to be something that FO / Coaches want to address https://t.co/Rv3DxUaMFO
– Alex Regla (@AlexmRegla) February 27, 2021
Some of the Lakers are already familiar with his game. In Los Angeles, Jones reunites with former Warriors teammate Alfonso McKinney – who was also a small player this season – a relationship that Jones believes could help him accelerate even faster.
“It’s cool to have former teammates I know on the team to show me their role,” Jones said. “Just familiar faces to help me get used to it.”
Entering the championship contender as he fights for his future in the NBA on his fourth team in five years, Jones will need all the help he can get. But he has already shown that he is ready to make things fight for this shot. Even if it means giving up everything, tracking a rental car, and driving five and a half hours in just under seven hours to get a coronavirus test without a guarantee other than a 10-day salary.
“It was pretty crazy,” Jones said of the last 24 hours that landed him at the Staples Center on Friday.
It would be even crazier if he could act within the limited time and opportunities he seems to be given. But hey, he’s nailed every task the Lakers have asked him so far. Now you just have to do it again.
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed for iTunes,, Spotify,, Stitch or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.