Trio of area ballers try their hands in the big leagues

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Former all-league Washington State forward Robert Franks (2015-19), on a two-way NBA/G League deal with Charlotte, did not play in the Hornets’ 75-72 summer league loss to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, which closed out the opening round.

Seeds for the tournament-style segment of the NBA Las Vegas Summer League will be announced tonight.

It was the 6-foot-9 Franks’ second DNP in four summer league games for the now-1-3 Hornets, who signed the 2018-19 Pac-12 season’s leading scorer (21.6 points per game) to the developmental contract a day after the NBA draft.

Franks didn’t play in Charlotte’s first game in Las Vegas, then got 12 minutes of action on July 7 in a 106-96 loss to the Spurs, in which he had five points (2-of-4) and a rebound, but two fouls. In an 84-80 loss to a Chinese national team the following day, Franks played six minutes, shot three times — hit a 3 — and blocked a shot.

— In the same game, former Idaho guard Perrion Callandret (2013-18) played seven minutes for 2-2 Chicago, shot once — a 2 — had one assist, two turnovers and five rebounds.

The 6-2 Callandret, an electric but injury-plagued point guard during his career with the Vandals, was given a shot at the summer league after Chicago standout and two-time NBA dunk champion Zach LaVine — Callandret’s close friend from their time together at Bothell High in Washington and beyond — implored the Bulls to add Callandret to their summer roster, according to a feature published in the Spokesman-Review by Associated Press writer W.G. Ramirez.

Callandret didn’t play in Chicago’s first game — a 96-76 win over the Lakers on July 5 — then got in for 11 minutes two days later in an 82-75 loss to Cleveland. He logged four points (1-of-3, 2-for-2 from the stripe), two rebounds and an assist. The next night, Callandret had two assists, a rebound and a steal in three minutes in a 109-72 loss to New Orleans.

— Another UI grad vying in Vegas for an NBA spot is sharpshooting facilitator Jeff Ledbetter (2009-11), a 31-year-old basketball journeyman who’s spent his career traversing the globe and the NBA’s developmental league.

On Wednesday, Ledbetter dished two assists and swiped two for the 2-2 Spurs in their 79-78 loss to Phoenix.

Over the past three years, Ledbetter has been a productive asset for San Antonio’s G League team, the Austin Spurs, though he did sign with Cuauhtemoc Manzaneros of Mexico late last year, where he spent the rest of the season. But since the team is not sanctioned by FIBA, his G League rights remained with the Spurs, according to the 2 Ways & 10 Days G League blog.

Ledbetter, coming off the bench for just under 16 minutes per game so far this summer, had his most impressive outing in a 99-84 win over Memphis during the opening week in Salt Lake City on July 2, in which he shot 5-of-10 from deep — hit four straight 3s in the first frame — and finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, two assists and a steal.

Overall, he's averaging about eight points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal per game.

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