September 24, 2017, 10:31 pm
Hoop Ball Kings’ brand new series that we are rolling out in the lead up to the 2017-18 NBA season continues as we round out our player predictions for the upcoming season. Following this piece, we’ll move onto topics regarding the team as a whole which should transition us into the new season.
Guard Frank Mason, and F/C Harry Giles could very well be spending a large portion of the 2017-18 season on the sidelines in Sacramento, or in Reno developing their skills. None of this is bad news by any stretch as development is exactly what they need and playing time on the NBA roster will be hard to come by.
Mason comes in as one of the older rookies from the 2017 Draft Class and showed during Summer League that he could be ready to contribute sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, there just won’t be minutes available for the former Kansas Jayhawk as both George Hill and fellow rookie De’Aaron Fox sit above him on the depth chart.
Mason could follow the same trajectory as former King Ray McCallum who started off his career in Reno, before working his way into the Kings’ rotation after the injury bug sunk its teeth in. Hopefully, injuries aren’t the way Mason works his way into a rotational role, but it may be the only way he gets minutes this season.
Harry Giles may not see the court in Sacramento at all this season. He sat out the entirety of Summer League and it would seem the Kings are prepared to take a long-term approach with the injury-prone Giles.
This is a wise move by the Kings. Being patient with the 20-year-old is exactly what Sacramento needs to do, whether that’s sending him down to Reno for playing time. Or sitting on the bench learning from guys like Zach Randolph and Vince Carter. All of which will be highly beneficial for him.
Both Mason and Giles will struggle to find minutes in Sacramento, meaning this season will likely be one of pure development. Training camp and preseason should signal the Kings’ intentions with two of their rookies moving forward.
Stat-line Prediction (Frank Mason III): 3.2 points, 0.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.0 blocks. 41% FG, 30% 3PT, 81% FT.
Mason will be a Bighorn for the majority of his rookie season. He’s equipped with tools that should allow him to dominate down in the G-League, and he’s going to need to if he wants a shot at cracking the Kings’ rotation at some point.
He’ll likely end up getting some minutes near the back-end of the regular season when the Kings throw in the towel so you have that to look forward to if you’re an avid Frank Mason fan. I think he can stick in the NBA, but Mason will have to excel in Reno and make the most of his time on the court when he’s with the Kings.
Stat-line Prediction (Harry Giles): 3.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.2 steals and 0.8 blocks. 55% FG, 0% 3PT, 70% FT.
It’s a high possibility that they don’t play Giles at all this season, at least in Sacramento. They’ll likely play him cautiously in Reno too so don’t expect a major role on the Bighorns either. The fact that he sat out Summer League means the Kings are playing their cards carefully, and they have no need to rush Giles along.
I’ve projected him to still produce something for Sacramento this season, but I honestly don’t see him getting on the court for the Kings. If his rehab and development goes well throughout the season he could get on the court over the last 20 or so games.
Stat-line Prediction (Frank Mason III): 3.1 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.4 steals and 0.2 blocks. 46% FG, 34% 3PT, 76% FT.
Mason saw more than 30 minutes per game in Kansas on his way to earning the Wooden Player of the Year Award, but his lack of size resulted in him sliding on draft night. Thus, resulting in the Kings selecting him in the second round.
With tough competition at point it’s easy to see why Mason is somewhat overlooked. Mason’s tenacity, which was shown plenty over the course of his collegiate career, will be put to the test as he looks to squeeze himself onto the court and steal some minutes.
Stat-line Prediction (Harry Giles): 2.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.2 steals and 0.5 blocks. 48% FG, 0% 3PT, 54% FT.
Giles is somewhat like a test subject for the Kings and more than likely won’t see much time in the NBA this season. Giles, though, will probably see plenty of time with the teams G-League affiliate.
The minutes Giles will see with the Kings, however, could highlight his already mature build. He’ll be a force down low, but more than likely will look uncomfortable, especially on defense. He was a good rim protector in college and could add a boost to Sacramento’s presence in the paint.
It would be very surprising if Giles sees any kind of extended minutes, but if he can prove to be a difference maker, he could test Georgios Papagiannis as a low-minute player.
Stat-line Prediction (Frank Mason III): 4.0 points, 1.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.1 blocks. 42% FG, 36% 3PT, 78% FT.
Frank Mason will enter the season with far more experience than any other Kings rookie (aside from Bogdan Bogdanovic), but fans shouldn’t expect too much from him early in his first season with the team. Mason has plenty of skills that can make him a valuable contributor, but the odds of him being part of the rotation early in the season are very low.
While he may not see much time early in the season, he should be able to play a decent amount as the year goes on. Hill has suffered his fair share of injuries during his career, and Fox may not be able to be the full-time backup point guard from day one.
Mason proved during his time at Kansas that he can space the floor, capably run an offense and do the little things that can make him a valuable bench piece for an NBA team.
Stat-line Prediction (Harry Giles): 3.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 0.2 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.8 blocks. 54% FG, 0% 3PT, 55% FT.
Many experts placed Harry Giles at the top of their mock drafts heading into his freshman year at Duke, and while his stock may have slipped during the season, his talent was still evident at times in college. With that said, Giles still has plenty to learn before he’s ready for regular minutes at the NBA level.
Giles is a tremendous rebounder, and his size and physicality would be a huge benefit to this team early on, but the game still seems somewhat fast for him and he may be best served by going to the G-League to begin his career.
Giles will get some opportunity during his rookie season, but fans shouldn’t expect to see too much from him during his first season.
Missed the previous installments of Hoop Ball Kings’ Roundtable Series? Click HERE to read them.