Frank Mason

And-Ones: Thomas, Anderson, Team USA, Offseason Moves, More

Since USA Basketball announced its 12-man roster earlier this week for the first qualifying games for the 2023 World Cup, two players have been removed from the squad — DaQuan Jeffries withdrew due to an injury, and Frank Mason wasn’t cleared to participate.

NBA veterans Isaiah Thomas and Justin Anderson will replace Jeffries and Mason on the Team USA roster, according to a press release. Thomas, who continues to pursue an NBA roster spot, represented the U.S. in the AmeriCup qualifiers back in January, so he’s no stranger to international competition.

The same is true of Anderson — the veteran swingman, who has appeared in 226 NBA games, played for Team USA in the AmeriCup qualifiers in 2020 and was part of the Select Team that scrimmaged against the U.S. team prior to the 2019 World Cup.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks identifies some of the offseason moves that been the most impactful during the first month of the 2021/22 NBA season, including the Cavaliers‘ acquisition of Ricky Rubio and Tommy Sheppard‘s reshaping of the Wizards‘ roster.
  • The NBA plans to increase COVID-19 testing during the Thanksgiving holidays next week, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. As Wojnarowski explains, the league is trying to avoid risking any team-wide breakouts after players participate in family celebrations.
  • Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link) breaks down the pros and cons of the various pathways to the NBA for top prospects, taking an in-depth look at the G League, Overtime Elite, National Basketball League (Australia), and college basketball. As Givony writes, the NCAA remains “the most bankable path to the NBA” for top prospects, but those players have more options than ever to choose from.

Jordan Bell, Shaq Harrison Among Team USA Players For World Cup Qualifiers

USA Basketball has announced its roster for a pair of upcoming qualifying games for the 2023 FIBA World Cup. The squad, which will be coached by former Bulls head coach Jim Boylen, is comprised of G-Leaguers, nearly all of whom have prior NBA experience. Here’s the list:

Of the 12 players on the roster, 11 have appeared in at least one NBA regular season game, led by Harrison (173 career games) and Bell (160 games). Simpson is the only player without any NBA experience under his belt.

The 2023 World Cup will take place in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia two years from now, while the first qualifying matches will take place later this month. The U.S. team will face Cuba on November 28 and Mexico on November 29. After November’s games, the next round of qualifiers will take place in February.

Although NBA players make up Team USA’s roster in the World Cup itself, the qualifiers take place during the NBA season, so USA Basketball generally opts to build a roster made up of G League veterans. A group led by Jeff Van Gundy put up a 10-2 record in qualifying games for the 2019 World Cup from 2017-19. Mason and Randle participated in a handful of those contests.

Lakers Sign, Waive Frank Mason

OCTOBER 14: The Lakers have waived Mason, according to the team (Twitter link). He looks like a good candidate to join the South Bay Lakers in the G League.


OCTOBER 13: Mason’s signing is official, the Lakers announced (via Twitter).


OCTOBER 6: The Lakers are signing free agent guard Frank Mason III, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Since the team has an open spot on its 20-man preseason roster, no corresponding move will be required.

Wojnarowski classifies Mason’s deal with the Lakers as a training camp contract. Technically, training camps are over now with the preseason underway, but calling the contract a camp deal simply means it’ll be non-guaranteed, perhaps with Exhibit 10 language included.

Mason, the 34th overall pick in the 2017 draft, has bounced around the NBA a little since beginning his career with the Kings. He has since seen action for the Bucks and Magic, and also signed an Exhibit 10 contract with Philadelphia last December.

In 103 total NBA games, Mason has averaged 6.7 PPG, 2.6 APG, and 2.0 RPG in 15.7 minutes per contest, with mediocre shooting numbers (.396/.301/.755). However, he had a huge year in the G League in 2019/20, averaging 25.3 PPG with a .502/.428/.815 shooting line in 24 games (30.2 MPG) and earning NBAGL MVP honors.

Los Angeles has just 13 players on fully guaranteed contracts, but may not carry a 15th player to start the season. Mason has more NBA experience than L.A.’s other camp invitees and could become the team’s 14th man, though it’s possible the Lakers envision him as a player who will join their G League affiliate rather than one who will make the regular season roster.

Magic Sign Chasson Randle To Two-Way Contract

3:40pm: The Magic have officially signed Randle and waived Mason, the team announced in a press release.


12:24pm: The Magic intend to sign free agent guard Chasson Randle to a two-way contract, according to Josh Robbins and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Randle, who made his NBA debut in 2017, has appeared in 78 total games since then for the Sixers, Knicks, Wizards, and Warriors, averaging 5.3 PPG and 1.7 APG in 13.9 minutes per contest. He was on a 10-day contract with Golden State last March when the season was suspended, but didn’t catch on with a new NBA team for the summer restart or for the start of the 2020/21 campaign.

Randle has been playing in the G League bubble this month for the Oklahoma City Blue, the Thunder’s affiliate. In two games (26.3 MPG), he has averaged 20.0 PPG on .556/.375/.667 shooting.

The Magic have been hit hard by injuries at the point guard position this season. After losing Markelle Fultz for the season with a torn ACL, the team recently saw Cole Anthony go down with a shoulder strain and Frank Mason suffer a strained groin. Michael Carter-Williams just returned on Friday after missing over a month due to a foot sprain and is the only healthy point guard on the roster for the time being, so Randle could get an opportunity to earn minutes immediately.

Mason currently occupies one of the Magic’s two-way contract slots and is the likeliest candidate to be cut to make room for Randle, according to Robbins. Karim Mane is Orlando’s other two-way player.

Southeast Notes: Herro, Strus, Magic, Graham

For the second time in two weeks, Heat guard Tyler Herro briefly entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols. When he was first affected by the protocols on January 31, Herro only had to sit out a practice before being cleared, but this time around, he missed Thursday’s game in Houston.

Still, Herro and the Heat got good news today, as the second-year sharpshooter was cleared to rejoin the Heat and resume basketball activities. According to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press, Herro was flagged after a Thursday test result, but gained clearance after returning multiple negative tests and was able to join the team on its flight to Salt Lake City for Saturday’s game.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • In Herro’s absence, two-way player Max Strus took on an increased role on Thursday and had arguably the best game of his NBA career, scoring 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting in 25 minutes. Strus took advantage of the fact that the Heat were without guards Goran Dragic and Avery Bradley in addition to Herro, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I knew that my hard work would pay off at some point,” Strus said after the game. “To be honest, to be doing this this early in the season, I probably didn’t expect that. But it’s a weird year and there’s a lot of weird things going on. So you’ve just got to be ready.”
  • Already without Markelle Fultz for the rest of the season and dealing with injuries to Michael Carter-Williams and Cole Anthony, the Magic lost another point guard on Thursday when Frank Mason left the game with a groin strain, as Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel details. Mason won’t play on Friday in Sacramento, but Carter-Williams is no longer on the injury report, meaning he should be available for the first time since January 4, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic.
  • Given how well LaMelo Ball has played since entering the starting lineup, the Hornets will have to decide what role Devonte’ Graham will have when he returns from the groin injury that his sidelined him for the last three games, says Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. “No matter if he’s a starter or off the bench — if he plays first quarter, second quarter, fourth quarter — the guy produces for us,” head coach James Borrego said of Graham. “Having him back on the floor is a good problem — a good thing for me and for us.”

Florida Notes: Mason, Bamba, Heat, Okeke

Newly-signed Magic guard Frank Mason III should be able to provide some offensive firepower to an injury-depleted Orlando squad, according to Josh Cohen of Magic.com.

As a two-way player during the 2019/20 season, Mason played 23 games for the Bucks’ NBAGL affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd. The 5’11” University of Kansas alum was the leading scorer in the G League last year, averaging 26.4 PPG. Cohen anticipates Mason’s biggest scoring contribution to the Magic will be via pull-up jumpers off of pick-and-rolls.

There’s more out of the Sunshine State:

  • Magic head coach Steve Clifford has indicated that center Mohamed Bamba has been feeling a minutes squeeze as a result of Orlando’s significant depth at his position, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic“As I explained to him, the reality is this: Our best position by far is the five spot,” Clifford said. “[Nikola Vucevic] is playing at an All-Star level. Khem Birch is not just good now; Khem Birch is having a terrific year. So a lot of it is that. (Bamba) is playing behind two guys who (are excelling).”
  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald considers whether the Heat, losers of seven of their last eight games, should pursue an upgrade at the power forward position, and which players could be available. Miami, who made an exciting Finals run in 2020, are currently the No. 13 seed with an 8-13 record. All-Star Jimmy Butler was absent for 10 of those games, however, wherein the club went 2-8. Veteran Spurs forwards LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay, Rockets forward P.J. Tucker, and 2017 draftees John Collins and Lauri Markkanen all merit mention.
  • In a 123-108 loss to the Raptors Tuesday, rookie Magic forward Chuma Okeke displayed his scoring prowess, according to Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel. The game marked Okeke’s first action since suffering a bone bruise in his left knee on December 31, which kept him out of commission for 16 games. “It feels really good because coming back after being away so long you don’t know how you’re going to play,” Okeke said.

Magic Sign Frank Mason To Two-Way Deal, Cut Jordan Bone

FEBRUARY 3: The Magic have officially signed Mason, announcing in their press release that they’ve waived Bone to open up the required two-way slot. Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel notes (via Twitter) that Mason should be able to forgo the usual quarantine period for a newly-added free agent, since he has been at the G League bubble in Disney.


FEBRUARY 2: Free agent guard Frank Mason has agreed to sign a two-way contract with the Magic, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The 34th overall pick in the 2017 draft, Mason has appeared in a total of 99 NBA regular season games for the Kings and Bucks over the last three seasons. While his NBA output (6.8 PPG on .397/.298/.757 shooting) has been modest, the 26-year-old had a huge year in the G League in 2019/20, averaging 25.3 PPG with a .502/.428/.815 shooting line in 24 games (30.2 MPG) and earning NBAGL MVP honors.

Mason was signed and waived by the Sixers in December for G League purposes, as the team intended to make him an affiliate player for the Delaware Blue Coats. For now though, it sounds like Mason will report to the Magic once he officially signs a contract and clears the NBA’s health and safety protocols. There could be a pathway to immediate playing time with Markelle Fultz (ACL) out for the season and Michael Carter-Williams (foot) also ailing.

While the NBA and NBPA have talked about creating a third two-way slot for teams this season, there’s no indication any agreement on that front is imminent, so the Magic will presumably have to waive one of their current two-way players to make room for Mason. Of the two, Jordan Bone has been a more regular part of Orlando’s rotation than 20-year-old rookie Karim Mane.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sixers Waive Justin Anderson, Frank Mason

The Sixers have waived swingman Justin Anderson, according to 973 ESPN Sixers Insider Paul Hudrick (Twitter link). They’ve also waived guard Frank Mason III, Derek Bodner of The Athletic tweets.

Philadelphia has now trimmed down to a 15-man opening-day roster, along with a pair of two-way players.

Anderson signed a minimum salary two-year contract in late November but only $125K was guaranteed. He signed with the Nets as a substitute player prior to last season’s restart and saw action in seven seeding games and three postseason contests.

Anderson also signed a 10-day contract with the Nets in January before being released by the organization. A first-round pick by the Mavericks in 2015, Anderson had brief stops with the Sixers and Hawks as well.

Mason was just added this weekend on an Exhibit 10 contract. Unless he’s claimed, he’ll likely resurface with the Delaware Blue Coats, Philadelphia’s G League squad. He initially became an unrestricted free agent when the Bucks pulled their qualifying offer to him last month.

The 5’11” point guard out of Kansas spent his first two seasons in the league with the Kings, appearing in a total of 90 games. He then signed a two-way contract with the Bucks in 2019/20.

Mason played nine games for Milwaukee and 23 for the Bucks’ G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd. He averaged a league-best 26.4 PPG for the Herd, along with 5.0 APG and 3.4 RPG, earning G League MVP honors.

Sixers To Sign Guard Frank Mason

The Sixers are signing point guard and reigning G League Player of the Year Frank Mason III to a non-guaranteed contract, Derek Bodner of The Athletic tweets.

It’s an Exhibit 10 contract, Bodner adds (Twitter link), though Mason could add backcourt depth to the NBA club.

Mason became an unrestricted free agent when the Bucks pulled their qualifying offer to him last month.

The 5’11” point guard out of Kansas spent his first two seasons in the league with the Kings, appearing in a total of 90 games. He then signed a two-way contract with the Bucks in 2019/20.

Mason played nine games for Milwaukee and 23 for the Bucks’ G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd. Mason averaged a league-best 26.4 PPG for the Herd, along with 5.0 APG and 3.4 RPG, earning G League MVP honors.

Frank Mason III Loses QO From Bucks, Becoming UFA

After being tendered a qualifying offer by the Bucks a few days ago that would have made him a restricted two-way free agent, point guard Frank Mason III saw that option withdrawn, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Mason is now back on the market as an unrestricted free agent.

The 5’11” point guard out of Kansas spent his first two seasons in the league with the Kings, appearing in a total of 90 games. He then signed a two-way contract with the Bucks in 2019/20.

Mason logged nine games for Milwaukee and 23 for the Bucks’ G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd. He thrived with the Bucks’ Oshkosh-based minor league club. Mason was the G League’s Most Valuable Player for the 2019/20 season, averaging a league-best 26.4 PPG, along with 5.0 APG and 3.4 RPG.