Clippers to sign Jones for rest of season

NEW YORK -- The Los Angeles Clippers will sign guard Dahntay Jones for the rest of the season, coach Doc Rivers said Monday.

Jones had signed two 10-day contracts and the Clippers had to make a decision on his future after Monday's game against the Brooklyn Nets, but Rivers said he had already made a decision on the 10-year NBA veteran.

"He's good every day," Rivers said. "He's a pro. You can't have enough pros and so he's been really good. He's been through playoffs. Guys like that, Sam [Cassell] was telling a story when we signed him at the end of the year that I told him he was going to win one game for us and I said I ‘don't know when,' but he was talking about the [2008 first-round] playoff game in Atlanta where he got hot and won the game for us and then he went in the locker room and said, ‘I'm done. I've done my job.' That's what a guy like Dahntay [can do]. It could be one stop, it could be one thing, so you just don't know."

Jones has appeared in only eight games, playing 29 minutes and scoring four points. Rivers has mentioned that Jones' contributions to the team go beyond the box score. He has energized a bench that was lackadaisical earlier in the season; now the players are on their feet and cheering during games.

"It's what, in my book, a teammate does," Jones said. "They're happy for their teammates, they're cheering them on, they're trying to help them out any way possible and just bring spirit to a bench that seemed a little dead and disinterested at times but it's just what I've done all my career, even in the D-League. I'm cheering my teammates on, I want the best for them, I'm trying to help them out as much as possible and bring an atmosphere on the bench that's conducive to winning."

Jones, who appeared in 19 games for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League, averaging 14.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 29.2 minutes, wasn't aware of the news until reporters informed him after speaking to Rivers. Afterward, many of his teammates came up and congratulated him.

"It makes me feel a lot better," Jones said. "It's tough to be on a 10-day [contract] because you never know what your future is, but I'm still going to bring it every day, I'm still going to work every day to help this team out in any way possible. Right now my role is more helping on the bench and helping guys out, but hopefully I can get on the court and provide a service in that respect too."

Before joining the Clippers, Jones, 34, appeared in 589 career games with 157 starts, averaging 5.6 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 16.3 minutes with Memphis, Sacramento, Denver, Indiana, Dallas and Atlanta. He was originally drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 20th overall pick in the first round of the 2003 NBA draft before being traded to Memphis on draft day and spending four seasons with the Grizzlies.

"I'm learning every day," Jones said. "I'm learning what Doc likes, what Doc wants, what our defense does and the pace of our offense. I'm learning as we go along and I'm picking things up and hopefully I can get everything as soon as possible so I can be able to contribute."