UPDATE: The signing is now official.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Spurs will sign the former University of Texas player to a 10-day contract.
Hearing San Antonio, with those 18 wins in a row, are about to dip into the @nbadleague again and sign Damion Jones to a 10-day deal— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) abril 2, 2014
Spurs' forthcoming 10-day deal is with Damion JAMES #learnhowtotypestein— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) abril 2, 2014
James was drafted by the Hawks with the 24th overall pick of the 2010 NBA draft and traded to the Nets on draft day but struggled solidifying his place in the league. After playing only a combined 32 games in two years in New Jersey, the team decided to not pick up his contract option. James received camp offers from the Hawks and the Nuggets on the subsequent years but couldn't stick. He decided to try to earn his way back through the D-League, playing for the Bakersfield Jam and the Texas Legends, where he averaged 16.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 32.9 minutes a game this year. This is his second call-up of the season, after receiving a ten-day contract with the Nets.
James is a combo forward with intriguing physical tools. At 6'8 and with a 7-1 wingspan, James can defend the three and the four spots adequately and his rebounding makes him an intriguing option in small lineups. Offensively, his lack of a consistent outside shot limits his impact as a wing player but he finds ways to contribute by crashing the offensive boards and getting to the line. He has been playing mostly power forward with the Legends and putting up very impressive numbers, averaging 20.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in ten games in March.
His fit with the Spurs is obvious. He's the prototypical defensively-oriented combo forward, a type of player the Spurs have struggled to find. It's hard to see him make his way to the playoffs roster but as the regular season winds down, he might see some time if the Spurs want to rest veterans after securing home court advantage or on back-to-backs. And with the margin of victory being so high lately for the Spurs, garbage time has been plentiful. If that continues, James will probably see some minutes. For anyone wondering what the signing of another combo forward means for Austin Daye, their skill sets seem complementary, which would allow the Spurs to play the two at the same time.
If this reported signing actually happens, it will be far from impactful to the Spurs' title aspirations. But it seems like a smart decision as far as filling the 15th post goes. James is a D-League standout and a consummate pro who will give the Spurs an extra body in case they need one as the regular season draws to its conclusion.