After a brief delay, the long-rumored move to assign first-round pick Damian Jones to the Santa Cruz Warriors happened this week.
Jones will practice with the team and is tentatively scheduled to make his debut with the team November 25 against the Sioux Falls Skyforce in Santa Cruz.
The agile 7-footer was in a sling for the better part of the summer after tearing his right pectoral muscle lifting weights during a pre-draft workout.
He traveled with the team to Summer League but could only sit and watch. He was itching to get on the court then, and it’s only grown since. He was cleared for non-contact drills early last month and has been progressing steadily.
There’s a lot of excitement around Jones based on two things — his crazy athleticism, which probably even tops JaVale McGee — and the Warriors apparent center weakness.
Considering second-round pick Patrick McCaw has already impressed with his contributions so far, many are anxious to see what the Warriors saw in Jones, who was picked eight spots higher with the 30th-overall pick.
Everyone might need to temper expectations from Jones however, as center is one of the hardest positions to transition from college to the pros, and they take the longest to develop.
But just seeing Jones on the court is a positive sign for the Warriors.
If there’s one thing we’ve seen early this season, if you can catch lobs and block shots you can and will see time on the court. Which is, at the very least, something Jones can do.