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Damian Jones leaves Kings for Lakers in NBA free agency

Damian Jones was a standout for the Kings last season, but has found a new home with the Lakers in NBA free agency.

Sacramento Kings v LA Clippers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

After 73 games over the course of two seasons with the Sacramento Kings, Damian Jones is leaving for the Los Angeles Lakers in NBA free agency, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Jones made a case to remain with the Kings over the course of the 2021-22 season, averaging 8.1 points and 4.4 rebounds in 56 appearances while shooting his characteristically efficient 65.8% from the field. Losing him is obviously not ideal, but the Kings may have decided they have better center options available for new head coach Mike Brown as they look to break their playoff drought.

Alvin Gentry praised Jones back in January for his professionalism and competitive spirit:

“I think it’s great because he’s the ultimate professional, guys. You can sit him there and not play him 10 games or 12 games and it doesn’t matter, but when you put him in the game, I guarantee you he’ll be ready to go. That’s not to say that he’s going to play great or play good every night, but the one thing that you do know is that you gonna get every single thing you possibly can from him to try to help you win.”

Though he was by no means one of the team’s better players, Jones held down an important role in Sacramento. He was the proverbial next man up. During a season plagued with injuries and seemingly endless absences due to COVID-19, Jones was always available to play when he was needed. Coaches, players, and fans alike were all fans of his work ethic and mentality. Unfortunately, things just didn’t happen to work out for him to be in Sacramento any longer.

This will be Jones’ second stint with the Lakers after playing eight games for them in 2020. A well-versed traveler of the NBA, Jones has played for four of the five Pacific Division teams, seeing time with the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns before as well.

This breaking news story will be updated with more information as it continues to develop.