The Miami Heat have traded little-used shooting guard Roger Mason Jr. to the Sacramento Kings, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. The Kings will also receive an as-yet-undisclosed amount of cash to pay Mason Jr.'s freight, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein, and are expected to send Miami a "highly protected" future second-round draft pick. That draft pick is expected to be so heavily protected as to never actually go from Sacramento to Miami.
Mason Jr. confirmed to NBA.com's David Aldridge both that he has been traded and that the Kings are expected to waive him. The 33-year-old guard — whose 12-year professional career has included stints with the Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks and New Orleans Hornets, as well as clubs in Greece and Israel — tells Aldridge he's not sure where he'd like to play next. If he catches on somewhere, though, it likely won't be on a title favorite in a beautiful-weather city in a state with no income tax, so you've got to feel for Mr. Mason at least a little bit here.
Mason signed a one-year veteran's minimum contract with the Heat just before the start of training camp, but never really factored into the rotation plans for the two-time defending NBA champions, making just 25 appearances and averaging three points in 10.4 mostly-garbage-time minutes per game on 37.3 percent shooting, including a 35.4 percent mark from 3-point range. The most notable thing that happened during his time in Miami, sadly, was that he got robbed at a restaurant. Oof.
Moving Mason for nothing saves Miami a teensy bit of money on their eventual luxury tax bill — there's only so much you're going to save by eliminating a minimum-salaried player from an $81.3 million payroll — and opens up a roster spot that could be filled by a prospective contributor should some more interesting player get bought out between now and the March 1 deadline for locking in postseason rosters. The Kings use an available roster spot and cap space to get a cash payout from the champs. Mason moves on, giving us something akin to this year's version of the Dexter Pittman trade. The world continues to spin.
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