This is the slow time in the NBA off-season, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start looking ahead to the 2010-11 season and which players might surprise us. The Slept-on Files will feature some of the players you might have overlooked or written off — and give you reasons why you shouldn’t.

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Roger Mason’s File — Career numbers: 6 seasons, 19.2 MPG, 40.9 FG%, 38.1 3PT%, 87.1 FT%, 1.8 RPG, 1.5 APG 7.2 PPG; 2009-10 season: 19.2 MPG, 38.9 FG%, 33.3 3PT%, 79.4 FT%, 2.1 RPG, 1.7 APG, 6.3 PPG

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Why he’s being slept on: Looking at his career numbers, there isn’t a lot there that will overwhelm you. The New York Knicks, with whom he signed this summer, will also be his fifth team in seven seasons and his first job will be finding a way to fit in. But Mason is a role player, fitting best with the Spurs two seasons ago. He can be a deadly spot up 3-point shooter and while his game isn’t flashy, it’s effective. Usually. Unfortunately for him, as George Hill leaped up from under the radar, his own game began slipping under it.

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Why he shouldn’t be slept-on: Sometimes, all a player needs is an opportunity. In the NBA, opportunity and change of location are often interchangeable. While Mason’s game became stagnant with the Spurs, a fresh start with the Knicks is a perfect way for him to revitalize his career. Not only is Mason a key role player, he is a fit for coach Mike D’Antoni’s system and will find himself the beneficiary of a lot of those corner 3-pointers he likes so much.

After downing the Phoenix Suns on a corner, buzzer-beating three on Christmas day in 2008, Amar’e Stoudemire is familiar with Mason’s game and will relish having great shooters around him again. Looking at Mason’s file shows that when he gets the time, his production increases. Before Hil’s accelerated development in San Antonio, Mason had the strongest year of his NBA career, playing 30 minutes per game and putting in 11.8 points per contest while shooting 42% from beyond the arc.

He is also a great guy to have in your locker room. When your front office is trying to make deals with the devil and bring Isiah Thomas back into the mix, it’s unclear how focused they are on piecing together a team that will be cohesive off of the court as well as on. With trades and free agent pick ups bringing in Amar’e Stoudemire, Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf and Raymond Felton, Mason helps smooth out the high turnover. He’s a great veteran to have in your locker room and one of the true hard workers in the league, regularly coming in during evening hours to get extra shots up and work on his game.

While the Knicks wanted to make a splash this offseason, they wound up making a few ripples instead. Tasked with rebuilding a team, it can be better to bring in pieces that won’t rock the boat, but will help keep you afloat. And that’s Roger Mason in a nutshell: he may not be a team-changer, but he can be a game-changer.

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Comments (13)

  1. I am Spurs fan and two seasons ago Mason was one of my favorite players. He had a lot of buzzer beaters, I remember one on chrismas day vs Phoenix. Im sad to see him go, but he wasn’t getting any playing. Good luck to him

  2. You left out the crucial fact that he’s the namesake for one of the best commenters at the old digs.

  3. Er, I mean, at Skeets’ old digs.

  4. It’s interesting to learn that he’s a hard worker. His inconsistency would have had me guess he was a little a unfocused. Now that I know he tries as hard as he can, I like him even more.

  5. Article fails to mention that he was injured last season and his production dropped when Pop played him as a point guard.

  6. @ Todd, hahahaha yeah, he ALWAYS had the best photo comments. Roger Mason Jr is my hero, was that his name? I can’t remember…

  7. Spurs is one of my favorite team in the national basketball team, I have heard some news about Mason, and he\s one of the best player we have.

  8. I don’t know, maybe the minutes were an issue, but boy did he play himself out of the rotation last year. And not because of his PG play. He just missed wide-open 3 after wide-open 3. I like the guy and I hope NY works for him (to the extent that being on the Knicks could ever work for someone).

  9. Roger Mason Jr is a good role player when he is healthy playing minutes and as he gains healthy minutes, he will be a great role player. He had a couple buzzer beaters the same month I remember.

    And as I remember, I thought he was nice from them Raptor days….

    KEEP IT JIGGY!

  10. Stop Keeping it Jiggy!
    Unless you’re Will Smith, actually especially if you are Will Smith its lame and as much as I usually agree with you about most points Jiggy your stupid sign off makes me want to punch you technologically in the face sometimes. Give it up.

    Plus while I’m ranting in a specific direction from the old post you can’t seriously compare Blake Griffin to Kwame Brown if that’s what you were trying to do, unless you want to add another layer of farcical rubbish to your posts.

    So it DOES matter where they came from to a point and just proves how, really you or anyone else can’t accurately judge Griffin based on his zero league games to prove if he’s a bust or not, so far he looks like he has some work ethic, decent fundamentals and even though he got injured could still possibly be the best PF out of that draft year excluding maybe Dejuan Blair at this second who I thought would have a stupefying year anyway.

    Brown was the first ever (underline ever) number one pick out of high school which has got to be a lot more notable than Griffin’s draft and career so far. Totally different pressures to deal with. If he falls off the side of the planet this year then maybe gets traded for someone like Pau Gasol and is then universally refered to as “junk” in that trade then maybe I’d continue to tolerate you keeping it “jiggy”.

    I’m bored, I’m the chairman of the bored – Iggy Pop

  11. @tjr
    Will Smith gets jiggy wit it. I, like everyone else should “KEEP IT JIGGY”.

    All I’m gonna say is, You betta hope Blake does sumtin this year, or its all on ur hopeless faith in him. And if you read properly, I said if he doesn’t recover and live up to the name, he will be a bust. How much do u think he will average this year? Lets have some fun if the Score Media will allow us. Loser has to admit his horrible ball IQ on the Score TV. Is it Iggy Pop The Rock Iguana? If you’re man enuff or lizard enuff, holla at me. Or u know………………………………………………..

    KEEP IT JIGGY!

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