After suffering injuries during his last two seasons with Yale, Makai Mason made history and became the first graduate transfer in the history of Baylor basketball. Coincidentally, a Mason-led Yale team actually knocked Baylor out of the NCAA tournament three years ago. Although he has only appeared in one game over the past two seasons, Mason was one of the Ivy League’s premier prospects and actually voted the preseason player of the year prior to his first injury in the 2016-2017 season.
Makai Mason Latest NBA Mock Draft Projections
Despite his standout tournament performance and Ivy League exploits, injuries have slowed down Makai Mason considerably and have taken his name out of all NBA mock drafts. Likely to get a shot somewhere as an undrafted free agent, Mason has a chance to greatly improve his number of suitors with another strong tournament showing.
A redshirt senior, Mason is much older than most other players available in the 2019 draft and comes with major question marks following his injury. Despite all the red flags surrounding him, Mason will get a chance to prove himself somewhere based off the fact that he has shown to thrive under pressure against top competition and can score from just about anywhere on the court.
Makai Mason NBA Draft Profile & Player Comparison
Makai Mason’s game is a tough one to peg, but he resembles a bit of a watered down Jimmer Fredette. Jimmer was one of the NCAA’s biggest stars in his senior season and became a national sensation. If you actually compare Mason and Fredette’s freshman & sophomore stats (before Mason got injured), they are strikingly similar in terms of both raw numbers and year over year development.
This isn’t to say that Mason would have gone on to average nearly 30 points per game like Jimmer did if he had stayed healthy but considering what he showed in the 2016 NCAA tournament, that type of ceiling may not have been farfetched. Unfortunately, Mason was hampered by injuries and was only able to appear in a singular game during his last two seasons. However, he has looked stronger as the year has gone on and while he hasn’t surpassed his former level of play yet, seems to be on track to do so.
Jimmer’s exploits would make him a top 10 pick but he was never able to live up to the hype consistently in the NBA. Jimmer’s intangible ability to put the ball in the bucket translated to the next level but his lack of size and athleticism made it nearly impossible to do on a nightly basis. Similarly, Mason has a natural ability to score the ball and run an offense, yet lacks ideal size and athleticism for the position. At the next level, that should become a bit more of a glaring flaw compared to the NCAA where players like Mason and Fredette can still thrive.
Expect Mason to get an opportunity to prove himself in the NBA summer league and with a strong performance, could easily find himself on a two-way type deal. Mason could even potentially make a roster outright if he is able to put together a strong tournament coupled with a great showing in the NBA’s summer league.