Damian Jones has been a disappointment over his first two years with the Golden State Warriors, but he’ll have an opportunity to prove he belongs with the team this year.
The Golden State Warriors selected Damian Jones with the final pick in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft with the hope that he would become their center of the future.
Over the first two years of his career, Jones hasn’t earned that title.
Jones has played in only 25 NBA games since being drafted as he’s spent most of his young career with the Warriors’ G League affiliate in Santa Cruz.
In those 25 games, Jones has scored 1.8 points and grabbed 1.5 rebounds in 7 minutes per game, largely playing in garbage time.
He has shown some flashes in those limited minutes, but you’d like to see a lot more production from a first round pick entering his third year.
The center position is wide open while DeMarcus Cousins continues to rehab his injured Achilles, which may allow Jones to get that playing time he’s been missing out on thus far.
The Warriors still need to make a decision whether they are going to exercise an option on Jones’ contract that would keep him around past the summer of 2019. If they decline that option, Jones would become a restricted free agent next offseason. While they could still keep him if they decline that option, that would be a signal that they don’t see him as a part of their future.
Golden State has a couple of promising young big men in Jordan Bell and Kevon Looney, and the acquisition of DeMarcus Cousins gives them an All-Star at the center position. However, the organization would love to see something from Damian Jones in year three.
I don’t think Jones is primed for a breakout year, which would cause the Warriors to move on from him after this season.
Here’s our analysis of the other Warriors contract situations:
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