Hornets agree to terms with SG Roger Mason Jr.

Published: August 1, 2012

Yahoo! Sports has just reported that the New Orleans Hornets have signed free agent guard Roger Mason Jr.

How u?

Mason is a 6’5″, 31-year old shooting guard whose main skill is his jump shooting, particularly from the 3-point line, even though he has never really been great at it. He is a career 38.1% shooter from beyond the arc and 40.6% shooter overall, and both percentages from last season were pretty closely in line with those averages.

Mason is likely a cheap replacement for recently departed Hornets shooting guard Marco Belinelli. The two are actually remarkably similar; they are both the same size, handle the ball better than average for 2-guards, and have a similar success rate from long range. Mason rebounds a bit better, but Belinelli is a little better at getting to the free throw line. Belinelli’s younger age also tips the scale in his favor, but on a one-year deal (which is relatively safe to assume), you probably won’t see too much of a difference between the two. Defensively, his height works to his advantage, but he is pretty slow and struggles to stay in front of quicker, more athletic guards (again, much like Marco).

Contract details are not yet public, but as noted above, his deal is likely for only for one year at something right around the veterans’ minimum. One of the main ingredients still missing from this Hornets team was perimeter shooting from a wing player not named Eric Gordon, which is likely why Mason was brought in. With the NBA free agents who are still out there, there wasn’t going to be any real game-changers available; Dell Demps & Co. simply knew they had a need, and inked Mason to help fill it.

Update: This article says it’s a one year veteran minimum deal.

Also, according the CBA FAQ Question 16:

“When a player has been in the NBA for three or more seasons, and is playing under a one-year, ten-day or rest-of-season contract, the league reimburses the team for part of his salary — any amount above the minimum salary level for a two-year veteran. For example, in 2011-12 the minimum salary for a two-year veteran is $854,389, so for a ten-year veteran, with a minimum salary of $1,352,181, the league would reimburse the team $497,792. Only the two-year minimum salary is included in the team salary, not the player’s full salary. They do this so teams won’t shy away from signing older veterans simply because they are more expensive than younger veterans.”

Thus, Mason will count $854,389 in our salary figure. This was the same amount he would have counted last year, but the scale has not changed for minimum players like it did for maximum players (hmmmm). So, he will be paid $1,229,255 with $854,389 coming from the Hornets and counting in their salary figure with the reamining $374,866 paid for by the NBA.

This fits in the team’s Minimum Player Salary exception, which can still be used. The Room exception worth $2,575,000, which can be split among multiple players. This exception is exhaustable.


  1. nolakid21

    August 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I like it. Welcome to the Big Easy Roger Mason!

    How is he as a defender? Off and on the ball?

    • Mason Ginsberg

      August 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      Good question. Haven’t watched him play enough to know a ton, but I added a sentence to the post with what I do know.

      • nolakid21

        August 1, 2012 at 9:50 pm

        Hey man I appreciate that. Thanks a lot!

      • Zombian

        August 2, 2012 at 1:16 am

        According to Synergy he’s good at defending the pick and roll but not against players coming off screens or spot ups.

  2. teddy schiele

    August 1, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    I think he will be a solid hit and will teach Henry, aminu and a lot of the other guys how to get open and create proper spacing. He is from Greg Pop system so his leadership is a good thing, veteran presence and distance shooting.

  3. BoCanvis

    August 1, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I wish CJ Miles was on our radar or someone with a little more youth (SF/SG) 6-7″ type guy who can keep up.I still think Mason is a solid pick cause offensively he’s a little more instinctive then Belinilli cause of his wisdom and defensively he’s on the back end but still solid,no different then how the bulls use Korver,1 on 1 you’ll get the best of him but on a defensive 5 on 5 he’ll do a fair to nice job especially on the 2nd unit

    • Josh

      August 1, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      I agree with your points, but I just wanted to let you know that Korver is on the Hawks now. (just FYI)

  4. Jeff the Barbarian

    August 1, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    One of Mr. Mason’s best games of last season was at the hive and I happened to be in attendance. As a result, I thought he was a much better player than his stats seem to reflect. Still, he’s a great pickup at the league minimum. With our injury-prone friend starting at the 2, Mr. Mason will most likely be able to earn his keep. Welcome, Mr. Mason, Jr.!

    (Note: He’s so much older than the rest of the team, I can’t help but call him Mr. Mason. In my imagination, that’s how the team will refer to him in the locker room. Years from now, their collective hijinks will be adapted into a sitcom–a sort of modern Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper set among the bustle of an NBA locker room. Jack Black will play Big Shot!).

    • Josh

      August 1, 2012 at 7:13 pm

      I went to that game, too. He was lights-out.

  5. NOS-3RD GEN

    August 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    It doesn’t make sense to get Mason when he 31 years old. I like da Guy especially when he played for da Spurs. But I smell a trade coming sooner or later. BTW who is going to start at PG, and don’t we need another backup center and PG? Will Austin rivers play PG,SG, Or Both? Will Anthony Davis start at PF or Center?Can someone answer some of these questions?

    • ktrufant

      August 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      ESPN has their projection of starters and back-ups. You could start there …

      • Mac

        August 1, 2012 at 6:56 pm


      • StefanC

        August 1, 2012 at 8:04 pm

        ESPN can project all it wants. Most of us know much more about the Hornets than them.

    • Josh

      August 1, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      Go to espn.com/nba. Then press the “teams” link on the top of the page. Then press “New Orleans Hornets”. Then click “depth-chart”.

      • Mac

        August 1, 2012 at 8:31 pm

        hasnt updated yet it still has brad miller

    • Zombian

      August 2, 2012 at 1:00 am

      Against which team? On which side of the ball? What’s the score? Who do they have out? What sets are we trying to run? How are our players physically? Gun to my head if I had to make a depth chart though:


      Monty will run whatever set he thinks make us win. We can have 13 man rosters this season so take one of those question marks off the list and that’s what we’re looking at as of now.

  6. NOS-3RD GEN

    August 1, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Oh also the reason why I said that in my last comment is because he isn’t young and usually this team likes players in their late late teens -late 20’s on this team, but then again Demps and Mason was previously at one time in their careers part of SA-Town Spurs. So maybe they made an exception to Mason.

    • Jeff the Barbarian

      August 1, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      I think I can answer that. Think of the Hornets as a summer camp. Mr. Mason was hired to be the camp counselor. He will guide the youngsters, keep them in line and may or may not tell ghost stories. It just happens to be a bonus that he can (somewhat consistently) shoot the three.

    • Zombian

      August 2, 2012 at 12:49 am

      “Why do the Hornets prefer young players?”
      They’re trying to build a young core that will improve as time goes on. “Why do the Hornets like former Spurs?”
      Monty and Dell were both players there. Monty worked there afterward too. One of the basic principles of the Spurs is that they have a core that they developed and they’ve been in contention for so long because they’ve kept that core together while surrounding them with role players. Everyone knows the one or two things each player outside of their big three is capable of but they are successful at it because they aren’t asked to do too much and are good at their role. Look at all the players who suddenly exploded once on that team. That and they draft exceptionally well.
      So why did they sign Mason? Mason has a proven skill which fills a need on a small one year (presumably) contract. His job will be to sit outside of the arch and knock down threes. Seems like a decent signing to me.

  7. Frank

    August 1, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    A lot of people do question this signing although Mason is familiar with some personnel on the Hornets staff. Look the Hornets do need seasoned veterans on their team. You can’t have a roster full of young talent without veterans (look at Kings) to set an example. I do see Mason having a 6 to 8 ppg season and possibly third in the Hornets’ 3pt percentage. However, it will depend of a solid training camp from Mason to be considered in the bench rotation.

  8. jay breez

    August 1, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Gordon,Mason jr
    ect….Thomas, Henry n Miller. GREAT…5 or 6 seed.
    LETS GO!!!!!!!!!

    • Hornets2HOT

      August 1, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      i agree, im lookin for us to surprise the NBA this up coming season, with D-fence (get em right Montey)

    • Zombian

      August 2, 2012 at 1:20 am

      5th or 6th seed? Assuming other teams in the west stayed the same that’s as good as last years Clippers or Nuggets. I’m just saying don’t get disappointed when we don’t make the playoffs this season.

    • Jeff the Barbarian

      August 2, 2012 at 5:15 am

      I’m just as excited about the future as the next guy but I don’t see how this lineup could possibly be the 5th or 6th best in West.

  9. Mr. West

    August 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    how u

    Like the signing. Makes sense, needed another shooter, needed a backup 2 and needed a veteran guy. Not a glamour guy but we knocked out three birds with one stone.

  10. Butch

    August 1, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Good pickup of Mason Jr. for veteran leadership on the second unit. Also pretty good potential on offensive coming off the bench as well. I wanted to see either Mason or M. Redd come here at SG, both of whom have the ability to put up numbers in limited minutes with their 3 pt skills. I agree with previous article…Dell-Monty will both be in line for extentions after this coming season. I see a nice team being put together that can be coached up and guided in the right direction. I bet that Gordon’s “heart” should be feeling a little warmer towards the Hornets now that he can compare the roster of players on N.O. vs. PHX. We will surprise some folks this coming season!

  11. NOLA_Fredo

    August 1, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    So this means that Marco is really gone?

    /plays sad Incredible Hulk music

  12. Lucas Ottoni

    August 1, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Weak player. I prefer Chris Douglas-Roberts.

    • Ryan Schwan

      August 2, 2012 at 9:37 am

      You need to let CDR go, Lucas. He was a serious headcase. Both of his last two stops, the coaching staff couldn’t deal with him. He had talent, but there is no way this particular front office would ever bring in a guy like that.

  13. Xman3000

    August 1, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    They wanted this guy… I read a while back the Hornets were contending with several teams for him… We desperately needed a veteran combo guard with EG, Rivers, Vasquez, Henry all really young players… EG was the veteran guard… He is probably also great in the locker room…

    But at the 3 let’s not forget Miller… He knows Unibrow’s tendancies… Having them coming off the bench might be a treat… Davis is coming in having played with the best players in the league… Just imagine Chris Paul with this team…

    • Jeff the Barbarian

      August 2, 2012 at 5:18 am

      Chris Paul is on a team of comparable talent and he couldn’t make it past the 2nd round of the playoffs.

  14. Jordan J.

    August 1, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    That’s weird.. Today I saw something on the rumor mill about him and thought that he would actually be a good sign at SG. Glad to see us add depth to a position that has Xavier Henry getting the majority back-up role. Good job!

    • Jordan J.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:59 pm

      And don’t question the signing please. It’s a one year veteran minimum deal for crying out loud. How much questioning can you do?

  15. BoCanvis

    August 1, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    CJ Miles would have been a perfect fit starting at SF and or breaking Gordon at the SG giving height at that position and allowing EG to help out at the PG too,Mickeal Pietrus or Al Thorton would have been great additions too.I was thinking the hornets were looking for combo positions,like Miles has the height and experience at SF or SG and a PG/SG like Randy Foye.maybe a lesser degree but killing to birds with 1 stone with the PG and SF both can back EG depending on the matchup

  16. Xman3000

    August 1, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    I think he will get more than the league minimum considering this is a young team… We are more stable in the backcourt now… Most of the guards are gone but this is the player it was rumored the Hornets wanted…

  17. marky mark

    August 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    i think we have the talent to win 35 to 38 games this year

  18. F******

    August 2, 2012 at 5:39 am

    German media reports that Brian Roberts is going to sign with the hornets!

  19. jay breez

    August 2, 2012 at 9:06 am

    how can u hornets fans say we are not going to the playoffs? we played VERY hard last yr with a hurt team. we have one of the best coaches in the league. it all comes down to mr gordon. if he can play 70 games look out. we will make the playoffs. 5-8 seed!!
    c -lopez

  20. Josh

    August 2, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Good pickup.

  21. PrimeTimeWhoDat

    August 2, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Nice signing. Mason also ran the point early in his career, so he can run the offense in a pinch. If I remember correctly he led the league in 3 point % his best year in San Antonio. Nice signing especially it being for the vet minimum. Signing Miles of Pietrus would if been better, but they would want and most likely get more than the minimum. So yes they would of been nice additions, but why spend more money on a better player for one year. We are not trying to win the championship this year and do not want to sign anyone for more than one year. So it makes perfect sense to sign guys like Mason who can come in here and give decent minutes for a year just to fill out the roster. Unless he plays lights out and far better than Xavier, he will not be on this team next year(neither will Xavier). So our current roster looks like this:

    C: Davis / Lopez
    PF: Anderson / Smith / Warrick
    SF: Aminu / Miller / Thomas
    SG: Gordon / Mason / Henry
    PG: Vasquez / Rivers

    Now I say sign either a project center like Hassan Whiteside or Solomon Alabi or small forward like Damion James, Marquis Daniels, Sam Young, Donte Greene, or Dominic McGuire. Then sign another point guard like Ben Uzoh, Jonny Flynn, Jannero Pargo, Brian Roberts, or wait to see who gets cut that is a better fit. Then we will have a full 15 man roster for training camp & preseason.

  22. RealDeal

    August 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm


    • DownUnder

      August 3, 2012 at 4:14 am

      Thats not much of a ‘real deal’

  23. jay breez

    August 2, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    sign darco n i agree sign pargo. still some in the tank, hit the 3 n also was a fan favorite a few yrs back. sorry davis will not start @ center. its either lopez or smith. whoever has the best pre season. i would like to go with lopez! hes a true center n with smith on da bench it makes the bench stronger. i will take smith over any back up center.
    pf-davis or anderson
    sf-anderson or davis
    pg-vasquez or rivers

  24. Tmb1978

    August 3, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Good pickup with mason. A vet that knows his role. It’s looking more like the hornets may play 3 guards at a time and ditch the sf position. Aminu is not starter caliber.

  25. cubancaniac

    August 3, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    I would love to see us get shumpert! But I don’t see NY giving him up for anything we would give up! He would be a great backup at the two and could play the point if we needed him to!

  26. RealDeal

    August 4, 2012 at 12:13 am

    andre iggy deal all around player dats plays d a tue sf. aminu – iggy deal. vasquez/rivers gordon/xavier/mason iggy/anderson/miller davis/smith lopez/darko

    • PrimeTimeWhoDat

      August 4, 2012 at 3:57 am

      Yes that would be sweet! The 76ers need a power forward. Trade Jason Smith back to Philly with Al Farouq Aminu and Hakim Warrick to the 76ers for Andre Igoudala!

  27. Tyler

    August 5, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I’m expecting to see a lot of 3-Guard schemes this season.

  28. 9thwardhog

    August 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I am not really excited about this pick,this guy over the last few years was invisible in games. He was a decent 3 point shooter with the spurs,after he left them(he was no where to be found)

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