Frank Mason

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a few days ago that would have made him a restricted two-way free agent, point guard Frank Mason III saw that option withdrawn, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).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.

Bucks Extend QO To Frank Mason III

Bucks point guard Frank Mason III will become a restricted free agent, after Milwaukee extended his qualifying offer to him, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

Mason was selected with the No. 34 pick by the Kings in 2017. He then inked a two-way deal with Milwaukee last summer, and alternated between the Bucks and their Oshkosh-based G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd. The 5’11” guard out of Kansas appeared in nine games for the Bucks, averaging 6.9 PPG, 3.2 APG, and 2.1 RPG across 13.1 MPG.

This summer, Mason was named the G League’s Most Valuable Player for the 2019/20 season. The Herd were 18-5 in games Mason played, and a league-best 33-10 overall. Across 31.5 MPG, the point guard averaged a league-high 26.4 PPG, plus 5.0 APG and 3.4 RPG. His shooting slash line of .504/.425/.815 also contributed to his MVP case.

While Haynes suggests Mason’s qualifying offer is worth $1.5MM, the guard is coming off a two-way deal and appears to be eligible for one more such contract, so we tentatively have the guard’s qualifying offer down as a one-year, two-way contract with a $50K guarantee, as Basketball Insiders indicates.

Luke Adams contributed to this report.

NBA G League Announces 2019/20 All-NBAGL Teams

After being named the G League’s Most Valuable Player on Thursday, Wisconsin Herd guard Frank Mason III – who is on a two-way contract with the Bucks – headlines the All-NBA G League First Team, as the league announced today in a press release.

Mason was joined on the All-NBAGL first team by teammate Jaylen Adams, as well as Salt Lake City Stars forward Jarrell Brantley, South Bay Lakers big man Devontae Cacok, and Memphis Hustle forward Jarrod Uthoff. Mason, Brantley, and Cacok are currently on two-way contracts with NBA teams.

That’s a common theme for this year’s All-NBAGL teams. The majority of the 15 players named to the three squads are either currently on two-way contracts or have had NBA experience in the past.

The complete list of the 2019/20 All-NBA G League teams, along with the All-Rookie and All-Defensive squads, is below. Players currently on two-way contracts are noted with a caret (^).

All-NBAGL First Team:

  • Jaylen Adams (Wisconsin Herd)
  • Jarrell Brantley (Salt Lake City Stars) ^
  • Devontae Cacok (South Bay Lakers) ^
  • Frank Mason III (Wisconsin Herd) ^
  • Jarrod Uthoff (Memphis Hustle)

All-NBAGL Second Team:

All-NBAGL Third Team:

NBAGL All-Rookie Team:

  • Jarrell Brantley (Salt Lake City Stars) ^
  • Devontae Cacok (South Bay Lakers) ^
  • Donta Hall (Grand Rapids Drive)
  • Marial Shayok (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Tremont Waters (Maine Red Claws) ^

NBAGL All-Defensive Team:

Of the 20 players who earned a spot on one of the G League’s All-NBAGL or All-Defensive teams this year, only four – Adams, Jones, Koumadje, and Hollins – haven’t been on some form of standard, two-way, or 10-day NBA contract since the ’19/20 season began.

Adams and Jones have previous NBA experience, while Koumadje and Hollins have yet to make their regular-season NBA debuts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bucks Two-Way Player Frank Mason Named NBAGL MVP

Frank Mason III, who has spent the 2019/20 season on a two-way contract with the Bucks, has been named the NBA G League’s Most Valuable Player, the league announced today in a press release.

The 34th overall pick in the 2017 draft, Mason spent his first two professional seasons with the Kings before being waived by Sacramento last July. In his first year under contract with Milwaukee, he appeared in just six games for the Bucks, spending most of the season with the Wisconsin Herd.

In 23 games for Milwaukee’s G League affiliate this season, Mason averaged a league-leading 26.4 PPG to go along with 5.0 APG and 3.4 RPG in 31.5 minutes per contest. He also posted an impressive .504/.425/.815 shooting line, and helped lead the Herd to a league-best 33-10 record. The team was 18-5 in games Mason played.

Mason’s two-way contract is reportedly set to expire at season’s end, so the Bucks will have to sign him to a new deal if they hope to keep him beyond 2019/20.

Mason beat out Herd teammate Jaylen Adams and Celtics two-way player Tremont Waters in NBAGL MVP voting — Adams and Waters finished second and third, respectively.

Frank Mason III Signs Two-Way Deal With Bucks

JULY 26: The deal is now official, the Bucks confirmed today in a press release.

JULY 20: Point guard Frank Mason III has agreed to a two-way contract with the Bucks, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Mason was waived earlier this month by the Kings and went unclaimed.

Mason, 24, was selected by Sacramento with the 34th overall pick in the 2017 draft. He had a promising rookie season, averaging 7.9 PPG and 2.8 APG, but lost his place in the regular rotation last season.

He was supposed to play for the Kings in the California Summer League, but was held out of action due to a sore right hip. Mason had a $1.62MM salary for the upcoming season but it wasn’t guaranteed.

He’ll provide depth at the point behind Eric Bledsoe, George Hill and Donte DiVincenzo.

Forward Bonzie Colson holds the other two-way spot with Milwaukee, but the team also agreed to sign Cameron Reynolds to a two-way deal, so Colson looks like the odd man out.

Pacific Notes: Jackson, Clippers, Ferrell

The Phoenix Suns unloaded 2017 fourth-overall pick Josh Jackson on the Memphis Grizzlies yesterday, after a tumultuous but oh-so-promising two-year stint with the franchise. Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic broke down exactly what went wrong for the once-prized prospect.

A plethora of red flags spoiled Jackson’s reputation off the court and eventually that proved to trump even his best performances on it. To Jackson’s credit, he managed to show high-ceiling talent despite playing for three different head coaches with three different playing styles, but the downside proved to much to bear for a young Suns organization that desperately needs to start moving forward.

Jackson averaged 17.0 points and 6.1 rebounds with over a block and a steal per games in games in which he played 30 or more minutes, but those flashes of excellence were few and far between as the Suns swingman struggled with his shot and controlling his emotions.

The Grizzlies, another team in the midst of a rebuild, will hope that a fresh start is enough to put the former Suns prospect back on the right track.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

 

Kings Waive Frank Mason III

The Kings have parted ways with a 2017 second-round pick, announcing today in a press release that guard Frank Mason III has been released. Mason will become an unrestricted free agent on Saturday if he goes unclaimed on waivers.

Mason, 24, was selected by the Kings with the 34th overall pick in the 2017 draft. He had a promising rookie season, averaging 7.9 PPG and 2.8 APG with a .360 3PT% in 52 games (18.9 MPG), but lost his place in the regular rotation last season.

As Jason Jones of The Athletic notes (via Twitter), Mason was supposed to play for the Kings in the California Summer League this week, but was held out of action due to a sore right hip. His $1.62MM salary isn’t scheduled to become fully guaranteed for 2019/20 until October 15, per Basketball Insiders, so Sacramento won’t be on the hook for that cap hit.

With De’Aaron Fox starting at the point in Sacramento and Cory Joseph being brought aboard to provide depth at the position, Mason became expendable for the Kings. However, the team plans to retain point guard Yogi Ferrell, according to Jones (Twitter link). Ferrell’s $3.15MM salary for 2019/20 will become fully guaranteed if he remains under contract through today, which appears to be a lock.

Kings Notes: McLemore, Mason, Giles, Bagley

Shooting guard Ben McLemore has been among the pleasant surprises in Kings‘ training camp, relays Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. The Kings made McLemore the seventh pick in the 2013 draft and he spent the first four years of his NBA career in Sacramento before signing with the Grizzlies last year. The Kings brought him back in a trade this summer.

“My confidence is on high and I want to continue to get better each and every day, help my teammates … and do whatever they want me to do,” McLemore said. “That’s defensive, offensive, whatever the case might be. I’ve prepared myself all summer for this moment, so I’m ready.”

A knee injury to Bogdan Bogdanovic that required arthroscopic surgery could provide an early-season opportunity for McLemore. Bogdanovic is projected to miss four to six weeks, opening up some minutes in the backcourt. McLemore believes he can claim them and likes the up-tempo approach the Kings have adopted.

“The style of play they want to play, it fits me perfect, the way I play, the things I do,” he said. “I shoot the ball well, I run the floor, play defense, all those kinds of things.”

There’s more today from Sacramento:

  • Frank Mason is counting on better judgment to help him win an expanded role this season, Anderson adds in the same story. A backup point guard, Mason excels at getting to the basket but his drives often resulted in turnovers or forced shots. “[Last] year, I got in there and made a couple of wrong decisions, and some games I made the right decisions,” Mason said. “It’s just watching film and making the right reads and the right plays.”
  • Harry Giles is happy that his long wait to play in an NBA game is almost over, Anderson relays in a separate story. The 20th player drafted in 2017, Giles sat out all of last season as the Kings tried to protect his knees after a series of surgical procedures. He showed promise during summer league play and will make his debut in a Kings’ uniform tomorrow night in the preseason opener. “I love Harry’s game,” said teammate Willie Cauley-Stein. “He’s going to be a beast. Like most of us, coming into the league, you’ve got to find that pace, and once you find that pace it’s going to be scary.”
  • Kings fans probably won’t see Giles and this year’s top pick, Marvin Bagley, in the lineup together for a while, Anderson writes in another piece.

Team USA Announces Camp Roster For September World Cup Qualifiers

Fourteen players will participate in a Las Vegas training camp beginning this Thursday, USA Basketball announced today in a press release. Of those 14 players, 12 will be named to Team USA’s roster for the club’s upcoming qualifying games for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

This set of games – the first window for the second round of qualifiers – will take place later this month. Team USA will face Uruguay on September 14, then play against Panama on September 17.

The following players will be vying for Team USA roster spots for these qualifying contests:

In the first round of qualifying games for the 2019 World Cup, Team USA was made up predominantly of G League players. That’s the case to some extent again this time, with guys like Hearn and Warney returning. However, many of the players this time around are currently under contract with NBA teams, including Bacon (Hornets), Ellenson (Pistons), Hicks (Knicks), Mason (Kings), Trice (Bucks), and White (Spurs).

“With our September second-round games marking the start of the most critical part of the World Cup Qualifying, I think it is imperative for us to look for players who possess mental fortitude, who are tough, and who have experience,” said Team USA head coach Jeff Van Gundy. “All of our second-round games are going to very, very difficult and competitive battles. Argentina, Panama and Uruguay are all really good and well coached.”

The second round of the World Cup qualifiers will take place over three windows of competition in September, November, and February. Team USA will play two games apiece vs. Argentina, Panama, and Uruguay during that stretch.

Having posted a 5-1 record during the first round of qualifiers, Team USA is tied for first with Argentina in Group E, which is made up of six teams. If Team USA remains in the top three of the Group E standings by the end of February’s games, the squad will qualify for the 2019 World Cup, which will take place in China next September.

Kings Notes: Shumpert, Cousins, Labissiere, Mason

Iman Shumpert was one of several Cavaliers to be traded at the trade deadline, leaving a championship contender to join the rebuilding Kings. The former NBA champion is currently out of action due to plantar fasciitis and his return date is unknown.

Shumpert spoke to reporters after his first practice with the Kings and expressed optimism about joining the franchise (via ABC10).

“I like it, they play an up and down speed, which is a speed I’m accustomed to,” Shumpert said. “It’s all equal opportunity and moving the ball; they move the ball side-to-side and play hard. We got a lot of athleticism and I think I could help a lot, really, and I think I fit in.”

Shumpert, 27, has only appeared in 14 games this season, averaging 4.4 PPG and 2.9 RPG — both career-lows. As an experienced player with NBA postseason experience, Shumpert said he is looking forward to helping the Kings’ young players.

“Just appreciating the opportunity and coming in here with a fresh mind,” he said. “The stuff that I’ve been doing over there [in Cleveland], and the things that I’ve learned playing in the playoffs every year, going to the [NBA] Finals the last three years. [I’m] just trying to bring it over here and help these guys apply it.

“Sometimes just bringing that voice can mean a lot with instilling confidence in young players. I know when I was young with the Knicks, having Jason Kidd, Rasheed Wallace and those other guys that have been there before come and instill that confidence.”

Check out other Kings notes down below:

  • Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee looks back at the one-year anniversary of the Kings trading DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans. Despite being in the postseason hunt at the time, the Kings decided to trade their best player, signaling the beginning of what team president Vlade Divac called a “culture change.” The Kings have struggled this season and third-year center Willie Cauley-Stein has noticed a change. “It was an instant culture shift,” Cauley-Stein said. “Just like from a personnel standpoint, it’s a lot more chill, a lot more relaxed, got more productive in practice. We were able to just teach each other stuff. Everybody had a role and everybody touched the ball and could get it going and play for each other.”
  • In a separate story, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee noted that forward Skal Labissiere (shoulder) and guard Frank Mason III (heel) would return Thursday. Both men were active and saw time in Thursday’s loss to the Thunder.