Hornets agree to terms with SG Roger Mason Jr.

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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.

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