Sacramento Kings

Kings waive Frank Mason III but expect him to be with team in Las Vegas summer league

Sacramento Kings guard Frank Mason III (10) drives to the basket against the Utah Jazz at the Golden 1 Center on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018 in Sacramento, Calif..
Sacramento Kings guard Frank Mason III (10) drives to the basket against the Utah Jazz at the Golden 1 Center on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018 in Sacramento, Calif.. Sacramento Bee file

The Kings waived backup point guard Frank Mason III on Thursday after making a series of moves in free agency to improve their depth.

Mason is beloved by teammates and well respected within the organization. The Kings still expect him to be a part of their Las Vegas Summer League team, which will play China on Saturday, a classy gesture that will give Mason an opportunity to impress other teams.

Mason’s $1.62 million salary for 2019-20 wouldn’t have become guaranteed until Oct. 15, but Yogi Ferrell’s $3.15 million salary became guaranteed Thursday. The Kings could have waited until training camp to part with Mason, but waiving him now will allow him to pursue opportunities with other teams this summer.

Mason tweeted at the Kings shortly after the announcement was made, saying “thanks for allowing my dreams to come true. It was truly a blessing to be a part of the organization.”

Mason, 25, went on to express his appreciation for his teammates, the front office, the coaching staff and the training staff.

The Kings used the 34th overall pick to select Mason in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft after he was named national player of the year as a senior at Kansas. Mason appeared in 90 games over two seasons with the Kings, providing depth at the point guard position. He was a positive locker room presence and one of the founders of the Litty Committee, a group of backups to who gained attention for their pregame dance routines.

Mason, 25, averaged 7.9 points, 2.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 18.9 minutes per game as a rookie in 2017-18, shooting 37.9 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range. His playing time and production dipped in his second season, when Mason averaged 5.1 points, 2.2 assists and 1.1 rebounds in 11.4 minutes while shooting 42 percent overall and 21.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Mason was previously named to Sacramento’s summer league team, but he was held out of the California Classic with a sore right hip. He will be with the Kings in Las Vegas, the team said.

Ferrell, 26, signed a two-year free-agent deal with the Kings last summer. He appeared in 71 games, averaging 5.9 points, 1.9 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 15 minutes per game. Ferrell served as a primary backup to starting point guard De’Aaron Fox, but his role is likely to change after the Kings signed free agent Cory Joseph to a three-year, $37-million deal.

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