Mason Jones is one of the Los Angeles Lakers’ two-way contract players, signing with the team back in December and spending the vast majority of his time with the Lakers’ G-League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers.
In the G-League, Jones dominated this season, averaging 25.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.7 steals while shooting 50.8% from the floor and 40.6% from 3-point range.
Once the Lakers were eliminated from playoff contention, Jones got an opportunity to get some time with the parent team in the last two games. Jones was solid in both outings and showed flashes of potentially being a contributor in the future. In fact, it is somewhat of a similar path taken by former Lakers guard Alex Caruso.
Like Jones, Caruso started on a two-way contract and was excellent in the G-League before ultimately getting an opportunity with the main squad and the rest is history as he would go on to play a huge role in the Lakers’ 2020 NBA Championship run. Jones sees the similarities as well and hopes to replicate that same path.
“It’s big because it’s crazy, I feel like me and Alex Caruso are going down the same path,” Jones said in his exit interview. “He was one of the best players in the G League before the year he got that experience with the parent [team] and the growth that he had in the G League really helped him with the Lakers and now with the Bulls.”
“You could see that growth that he had and it was going back to the G League. He always talks about it, he knows that the experience there is crazy because you have all the time in the world to get better, you always have the chance to play every game and continue to work on your craft. So just having that experience is really big.”
Caruso is a best-case scenario without a doubt and all two-way players can’t be expected to have an impact on that level. But it is good to see someone like Jones wanting to replicate that because Caruso thrived by embracing the dirty work role and Jones could potentially do the same.
As a two-way player, Jones will likely be on the Lakers’ Summer League team so making an impact there will be a good start to going down the road paved by Caruso.
Jones named to All-NBA G League First Team
Jones’ time in the G-League was so good that he picked up a major honor this season. While with the South Bay Laker’s Jones was named to the All-NBA G-League First Team thanks to his outstanding play.
Additionally, the Lakers’ other two-way player, Mac McClung, was named G-League Rookie of the Year while also making the All-Rookie Team.
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