Lakers Summer League: Mason Jones Adapting To Role Off Bench, Focused On Making Impact On Defensive End
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Mason Jones headlined the Los Angeles Lakers roster for the 2022 Summer League in Las Vegas after a successful season in the G League.

Jones ended the 2021-22 campaign in the All-NBA G League First Team having averaged 26.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.9 points per game in 36 appearances for the South Bay Lakers. However, the 23-year-old struggled in the three California Classic games, putting up just 6.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 2.7 assists and shooting 27.8% from the field.

Jones has bounced back since the Summer League moved to Vegas. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard averaged 12.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.0 assists, making 38.7% of his shots, including 40% of 3s. After his 15-point performance in the 83-72 win over the L.A. Clippers, Jones said he needed time to get back to his rhythm.

“Knowing me, I’m a perfectionist and I want to be one of the best players in the league, but I know that takes a lot.” he said. “I knew that I was playing bad and, I know that with the Lakers next year, or wherever I am next year, my role is to come off the bench first and then game from there.”

He added: “I’m really starting to adapt to it.”

Jones revealed the Lakers head coach Darvin Ham and assistant Chris Jent had suggested he focused on rebounding while getting his game back — which he excelled at in the G League last year. “I just want to continue to translate that because that’s gonna help me get more minutes,” he said.

Jones said he wants to amp up the Lakers every time he enters the floor. “I want to be the energy spark, knowing I’m a veteran,” he said.

Jones wants his defense to unleash Lakers offense

Jones said he’s focusing on making an impact on the defensive end for the Lakers in this year’s Summer League, hoping to get the offense going in transition. “It’s just really just finding energy on the defensive end, letting my defense and rebounding start where I can get a rebound and push and get a transition 3 or make a pass to an open man,” he said.

“So just really starting from defense to offense, because in the G League, it really started from offense to defense. So now I want to make that big jump and knowing that I really want to help next year for the big squad, I know it’s gonna start from the defensive end.

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