Mason Jones

Rockets Officially Announce Four Signings

The Rockets have issued a press release officially confirming that they’ve completed four recently-reported free agent contracts. Those deals are for the following players:

Caboclo, Tate, and Brown will all be part of Houston’s 15-man roster in 2020/21, while Jones will occupy one of the team’s two-way slots, alongside Kenny Wooten. Brown reportedly received a one-year contract, with Caboclo getting one year plus a second-year team option. Tate reportedly signed a three-year deal worth a little above the minimum.

Once the Rockets officially sign DeMarcus Cousins and Kenyon Martin Jr., as is expected, they’ll have one open spot remaining on their projected 15-man squad for the regular season.

The team previously made a formal announcement to confirm the acquisition of its top free agency addition, Christian Wood.

Rockets To Sign Mason Jones To Two-Way Deal

The Rockets have agreed to sign undrafted free agent Mason Jones to a two-way contract, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Jones will fill one of Houston’s two-way slots for the coming season.

Jones, who declared for the draft after his sophomore year, led the SEC in scoring with 22.0 PPG. He added 5.5 RPG and 3.4 APG to go along with a shooting line of .453/.351/.826 in 31 games (33.9 MPG).

The Razorbacks shooting guard ranked ninth on Givony’s list of prospects who went undrafted.

The rules for two-way players are a little different during the NBA’s shortened 2020/21 campaign. They’ll earn salaries of $449,155 and won’t face a limit on how many days they can spend in the NBA. However, they won’t be able to be active for more than 50 games.

LaMelo Ball Headlines List Of Draft Combine Participants

Potential No. 1 overall pick LaMelo Ball will be among the prospects participating in the revamped virtual draft combine this week, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Ball is scheduled to take part in team interviews and a media session this week, but may not participate in any other portion, Jeremy Woo of SI.com cautions (via Twitter).

While Ball’s participation might be limited, many of this year’s other top prospects aren’t taking part in the event at all. As Woo points out (via Twitter), Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, Obi Toppin, Onyeka Okongwu, Cole Anthony, Aaron Nesmith, Devin Vassell, and Saddiq Bey are among the players who don’t appear on the list of participants sent out by the NBA.

The list of top prospects besides Ball who will be participating in the event includes Precious Achiuwa, Deni Avdija, Tyrese Haliburton, RJ Hampton, Killian Hayes, Theo Maledon, and Isaac Okoro, among others.

Here’s the full list of combine participants, via Charania:

  1. Precious Achiuwa, F, Memphis
  2. Ty-Shon Alexander, G, Creighton
  3. Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
  4. Udoka Azubuike, C, Kansas
  5. LaMelo Ball, G, Illawarra Hawks (Australia)
  6. Desmond Bane, G, TCU
  7. Tyler Bey, F, Colorado
  8. Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke
  9. Yoeli Childs, F, BYU
  10. Mamadi Diakite, F, Virginia
  11. Devon Dotson, G, Kansas
  12. Paul Eboua, F, VL Pesaro (Italy)
  13. CJ Elleby, F, Washington State
  14. Malachi Flynn, G, San Diego State
  15. Trent Forrest, G, Florida State
  16. Josh Green, G/F, Arizona
  17. Ashton Hagans, G, Kentucky
  18. Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State
  19. Josh Hall, F, Moravian Prep
  20. RJ Hampton, G, New Zealand Breakers (New Zealand)
  21. Jalen Harris, G, Nevada
  22. Killian Hayes, G, Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany)
  23. Markus Howard, G, Marquette
  24. Elijah Hughes, G/F, Syracuse
  25. Isaiah Joe, G, Arkansas
  26. Mason Jones, G, Arkansas
  27. Tre Jones, G, Duke
  28. Nathan Knight, F/C, William & Mary
  29. Kira Lewis, G, Alabama
  30. Theo Maledon, G, ASVEL (France)
  31. Karim Mane, G, Vanier College (Canada)
  32. Nico Mannion, G, Arizona
  33. Naji Marshall, F, Xavier
  34. Kenyon Martin Jr., F, IMG Academy
  35. Skylar Mays, G, LSU
  36. Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington
  37. Sam Merrill, G, Utah State
  38. Zeke Nnaji, F, Arizona
  39. Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville
  40. Isaac Okoro, F, Auburn
  41. Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota
  42. Reggie Perry, F, Mississippi State
  43. Myles Powell, G, Seton Hall
  44. Payton Pritchard, G, Oregon
  45. Immanuel Quickley, G, Kentucky
  46. Jahmi’us Ramsey, G, Texas Tech
  47. Paul Reed, F, DePaul
  48. Nick Richards, F/C, Kentucky
  49. Grant Riller, G, Charleston
  50. Jay Scrubb, G, John A. Logan College
  51. Jalen Smith, F, Maryland
  52. Cassius Stanley, G, Duke
  53. Lamar Stevens, F, Penn State
  54. Isaiah Stewart, F/C, Washington
  55. Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford
  56. Xavier Tillman, F/C, Michigan State
  57. Kaleb Wesson, F/C, Ohio State
  58. Kahlil Whitney, F, Kentucky
  59. Cassius Winston, G, Michigan State
  60. Robert Woodard II, F, Mississippi State

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA is unable to hold its typical in-person draft combine this year, but the league has put together an alternative combine that will feature interviews through videoconferencing as well as the making of “pro day” videos, which will include strength and agility testing, anthropometric measurements, and shooting drills. Participants will also undergo medical testing and exams.

For more details on this year’s combine, be sure to check out our full story on the changes.

Knicks Notes: Mosley, Jones, Rose, Trier

Mavericks assistant coach Jamahl Mosley, a head coaching candidate for New York, has a keen ability to connect with players, longtime coach George Karl told The New York Post’s Marc Berman. “He was big in player development, then toward the end of his time, we gave him scouting reports, game-plan responsibilities,” Karl said. “He was really good with basketball intellect and really good with players. That’s the combo you need in today’s world and changing attitudes of the young players.”

We have more on the Knicks:

  • Arkansas guard Mason Jones could be a wise choice for the Knicks with their second-round pick in the draft, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic opines. Jones’ ability to get to the foul line could make him a valuable asset, Vorkunov notes. Arkansas wing Isaiah Joe and Alabama wing John Petty are among the other underrated prospects the team should consider, Vorkunov adds.
  • Leon Rose has been the team’s president for nearly four months and the early returns have been promising, according to Berman. Rose has made wide-ranging, diverse front office hires while keeping Scott Perry as GM, Berman notes. He’s also conducting a patient, thorough search for a head coach, even though Tom Thibodeau is widely considered the favorite to get the job, Berman adds.
  • Waiving Allonzo Trier in order to add Theo Pinson was a telling move by Rose, Steve Popper of Newsday opines. Trier, who was signed by the previous regime, showed talent but also drew criticism for his lackadaisical defensive effort and refusal to play his role offensively, Popper continues. That shows that Rose will value character and work ethic in future roster moves, Popper adds.

Draft Notes: Bey, Hall, Mamukelashvili, Jones

Colorado’s Tyler Bey has signed with an agent and will remain in the draft, Jeff Goodman of Stadium tweets. Bey declared for the draft in late March. The 6’7” Bey is a potential first-round pick. He’s currently ranked No. 35 overall by ESPN and No. 8 among power forward prospects. He posted 13.8 PPG and 9.0 RPG with 1.5 SPG and 1.2 BPG in 31 games (29.0 MPG) in 2019/20.

We have more draft-related news:

  • Josh Hall will bypass college and remain in the draft, according to Evan Daniels of 247Sports. The 6’9” Hall had signed to play with North Carolina State next season but has hired an agent and will pursue pro opportunities. He’s eligible for this year’s draft because he graduated for high school last year, did a post-graduate season year and is 19 years old.
  • Seton Hall junior forward Sandro Mamukelashvili has a dozen video interviews lined up with NBA teams but could still return for his senior season, Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com reports. He declared for the draft in March without hiring an agent. Mamukelashvili averaged 11.9 PPG and 6.0 RPG this season but missed seven weeks due to a fractured wrist.
  • Mason Jones declared on a Twitter post he’s not returning to Arkansas, Goodman relays in another tweet. The junior guard averaged 22.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3.4 APG, and 1.6 SPG in his final year with the Razorbacks. The 6’5” Jones is ranked No. 77 overall and No. 14 among shooting guards by ESPN.

Mason Jones, Saben Lee, Others Declare For Draft

Arkansas junior shooting guard Mason Jones announced on Twitter today that he has decided to enter his name in the 2020 NBA draft. Although Jones can retain his college eligibility and withdraw his name from draft consideration at a later date, his announcement doesn’t make it sound as if that’s the plan. Jones said he’s “looking forward to the next chapter” in his life.

Jones was the Razorbacks’ top scorer in 2019/20, averaging 22.0 PPG on .453/.351/.826 shooting in 31 games (33.9 MPG). He also filled up the box score by adding 5.5 RPG, 3.4 APG, and 1.6 SPG. The 21-year-old currently ranks 80th overall on ESPN’s big board for 2020.

Here are more updates on the latest early entrants for the 2020 draft:

  • Vanderbilt junior point guard Saben Lee is declaring for the 2020 draft, he announced on Friday in an Instagram post. As Robbie Weinstein of 247Sports.com writes, a Vanderbilt spokesperson said Lee won’t forgo his eligibility and is testing the process for now. Lee, who averaged 18.6 PPG and 4.2 APG last season for the Commodores, comes in at No. 81 on ESPN’s rankings, one spot behind Jones.
  • Georgia’s Rayshaun Hammonds announced on Instagram that he’s testing the draft waters. The junior forward is the second Georgia underclassman to declare for the draft, joining possible No. 1 pick Anthony Edwards.
  • UT Martin sophomore guard Parker Stewart tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link) that he’s declaring for the draft without forgoing his college eligibility. Stewart, who transferred after beginning his NCAA career at Pitt, posted 19.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 3.8 APG in 2019/20.