The Spurs acquired free agent Roger Mason Jr., who played for the Wizards last season. And that's fine I guess. The only thing that could have made this a more Spurs-y pick up is if he had been really old. He's a hard-nosed defender who shoots 40% from beyond the 3-point line. Sounds like half our roster. But the fact that he'll be 30 in 2 years as opposed to 40 isn't insignificant. And we're only giving him $7.5 million for 2 years, so overall I like this move. I actually like the Wizards (Caron Butler brings the ruckus), so I've watched Mason a little more often than the average bear, but I would never claim to know the guy's game well. I remember he put up decent numbers against the Cavs in the first round of the playoffs this past season, including 18 in a blow-out game 3.
Mason brings intensity, a deft shooting touch and a little bit of athleticism to a squad that could use all three. What I don't like about this acquisition is the likelihood that the front-office will grow complacent now that we've made one decent move. We almost nabbed a guy who averages 22 a game, but had to settle for a guy who averages 9 game. Mason's passing ability and defensive prowess (neither of which Maggette is known for) make up for some of that, but I still believe we need to go in search of a guy who can put bundles of points on the board, even if he's a tad bit of a defensive liability or, dare I say it, a loose cannon. Really what this is all leading to is a renewed call for the Spurs to go after J.R. Smith. He's a wild child on the floor, but so far this off-season my primary hope was that the Spurs would acquire somebody who can create his own shot (Mason cannot). So far we have yet to do so. If we get Smith we will have done just that.
I also wouldn't mind the Spurs going after Josh Childress or Josh Smith. Originally I wanted the Spurs to take a look at James Posey but Mason is fundamentally the same type of acquisition (hard-nose defense, 3-point shooting), only he costs less. Given our frugality, I think Childress wouldn't be a bad pickup (Smith would cost more than we can spend and rightfully so. He is one hell of a talent). Childress is a really solid player in my opinion, but is overshadowed by the on-court spectacle of Smith and Johnson. I don't even know if the Spurs are looking his direction, but if I wake up one morning to read we picked him up, I'll be just fine with that.
One more quick note about Mason: According to this photo, the man may just have superhuman strength.