Lakers News: Damian Jones, Three-Point Ace?

The Lakers’ projected starting center could be adding a new dimension to his game.

27-year-old Damian Jones, the apparent starting center for your Los Angeles Lakers (as of this writing, at least), appears to still be adding new wrinkles into his offensive game, ahead of his seventh season in the league.

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In a somewhat surprising piece of news, Jovan Buha of The Athletic writes that new Lakers head coach Darvin Ham considers Damian Jones capable of becoming a floor-stretching big.

Across his entire six-season NBA career to this point, Jones has only ever shot 43 long-range looks. Last season, Jones did make a career-best 34.5% of his three-point attempts while with the Sacramento Kings, although he only shot a low-volume 0.5 triples across 56 games.

Given how poor a shooter beyond the arc current starting point guard Russell Westbrook is, Jones developing into a long-range option could be a huge boon for L.A., further opening up driving lines for Westbrook, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis.

“If I’m open and I’m in the corner and they pass it to me, I’m shooting it,” Jones established. “I’m comfortable shooting there. I’ve been getting a lot of reps in. Throughout the years, my percentages have been getting better as I’m shooting them. So, it’s good.”

Where Jones will most come in handy, however, will be his abilities as a finisher and defender around the rim, hopefully filling a JaVale McGee-esque role for L.A. in those departments. Last year, the Lakers’ very-old center tandem of DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard failed to give L.A. the same spark as it had during its 2019-20 championship run, when a younger and more athletic edition of Howard backed up McGee to form an intimidating, rim-rolling tandem at the five.

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