Earlier today the Los Angeles Lakers announced the signing of 23-year-old Jemerrio Jones from their G-League affiliate team, the South Bay Lakers. The 6-foot-5 forward averaged 9.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1 block through 47 games in the G-League this season.
Whilst the Lakers have not disclosed the details of the deal, it is believed that Jones has signed a two-year deal with the purple and gold. With there being a team option for the 2019-20 season. For now, Jones will suit up for the remaining six games of this season to prove his worth.
Growing up in Nashville, Tennessee, Jones attended Melrose High School in Memphis. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury in his junior year which limited his college options.
Consequently, Jones committed to Hill College in Hillsboro, Texas, where he averaged 11.7 points through two seasons. His reputation as a ferocious rebounder grew as he broke the NJCAA tournament rebounding record, with 72 in five games. From here, the forward took his talents to New Mexico State.
In his first season at New Mexico State, Jones came off the bench. However that did not stop him making the most of his opportunities, averaging 9.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.1 steals in 24 minutes. In his senior year, Jones solidified himself as a starter and excelled, further developing himself as an exciting prospect in the rebounding category. He became the first player since 1997 to record 20+ rebounds in three straight games.
In 34 games as a senior, he recorded an average of 11 points, 13.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.1 steals, on .503% shooting. Jemerrio Jones’ performances saw him named the 2017-18 WAC Tournament Most Valuable Player and the 2017-18 WAC Player of the Year. He also set a WAC single-season record with 450 rebounds. In addition, he received further honours being named to the NABC All-District 6 first team and to the USBWA All-District VIII Team.
Following his college career, Jones went undrafted in the 2018 NBA Draft and was selected with the 18th pick in the 2018 NBA G-League Draft by the Santa Cruz Warriors. Shortly after, he was traded to the South Bay Lakers.
Jones has been described as a highly energetic, efficient player who crashes the boards with intensity.
Taking a somewhat difficult route to the NBA, Jemerrio Jones will now get his shot in the big time. Moving forward, Jones’ tenure for the Lakers could work out and he stays, or the additional year on his contract could make him a piece in a potential summer trade.
Either way Jemerrio Jones looks an interesting prospect that could add something different to the Lakers’ roster.
By Matt Evans (@mattyyyevans)