Jones signs 2-year deal with Lakers, makes NBA debut on same day

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Former New Mexico State star forward Jemerrio Jones officially signed with the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday and made his NBA debut that night against the New Orleans Pelicans. The terms of Jones’ contract were not made public. 

Jones entered the game midway through the fourth quarter of a 130-102 Lakers win and proceeded to score 2 points, while adding a rebound and a steal in his debut. 


With the signing, Jones joins Pascal Siakam to be the second active former Aggie to be playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA) this season. Teammate Zach Lofton had also seen action earlier in the year in the Association with the Detroit Pistons on a two-way contract before being released and resigned with its G-League Affiliate the Grand Rapids Drive. 


The Memphis, Tenn., product spent the 2018-19 season with the Lakers’ G-League affiliate the South Bay Lakers. Jones saw action in 47 games with South Bay while starting in six and averaged 9.4 points, team-best 9.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks. Like his days at New Mexico State, Jones recorded double-digit rebounds in 21 games with 15 double-doubles. He scored a career-high 21 points against Stockton and pulled a career-high 18 rebounds twice.


Jones left New Mexico State after two seasons as one of the best to ever don the Crimson & White. The forward left the Aggies ranked third all-time in rebounds per game (10.8) and tied for eighth in total rebounds (737). He is also second in the single-season record books in rebound (450) and tied for third in rebounds per game (13.2). Jones also became the first player this century to record 20-plus rebounds in three-consecutive games according to ESPN Stats & Info and Stats LLC (since 1997).


His senior campaign culminated in him earning Associated Press All-American Honorable Mention distinction, WAC Player of the Year, WAC Tournament MVP, NABC First-Team All-District and the USBWA All-District VIII team after averaging 11.3 points and 14.1 rebounds.

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