Connect with us


Damian Jones wins starting center spot, at least for season opener


With All-Star DeMarcus Cousins still recovering and rehabbing from an Achilles injury, the battle for the Golden State Warriors’ starting center spot was on. Third year man Damian Jones has won that battle, at least for opening night.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweeted that head coach Steve Kerr has slated Jones to draw the start on October 16, when the Warriors open their title defense against the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, the four year coach did say that he won’t commit to anything further than that.

Kerr was all praises for his opening night center as he spoke to reporters following their last preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.

“I think Damian’s been probably one of the best stories in camp for us. I think he’s been really good. He’s so athletic, runs the floor hard. He’s starting to get a feel for where he’s supposed to be. He makes some nice passes, some nice plays, so we’re really happy with him.”

Jones, meanwhile, was excited for the opportunity he has earned from a strong preseason performance.

“It means a lot. Coming from the start, coming in injured in 2016, going to the G-League after that. And then work my way up, going to second year, going to the G-League again. And then, having this opportunity is great. It shows that all the hard work pays off.”

The former 30th overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has started in each of the Warriors’ preseason games. In 18 minutes per contest, the athletic big man averaged 9.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and a shade under one block per game.

Jones looks poised to have a break-out season after spending most of his first two years in the NBA either in street clothes, or in the development league. The 7-footer has only played a total of 25 games in two seasons.

With Jones penciled in to start on opening night, this is another opportunity for him to prove that he should be the team’s starter, up until, of course, DeMarcus Cousins’ return.