Mason to Spurs

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Roger Mason Jr. is cashing in on his career year with the Washington Wizards, signing a two-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs, Mason said in a phone conversation just a few minutes ago.

Mason, whose deal according to league sources is worth around $7.3 million, had been wooed by the Spurs last summer, but instead chose to sign a one-year $770,610 with the beleif that he could benefit from the continuity he had with the Wizards. Mason’s gamble paid off. With Gilbert Arenas missing 69 games while recovering from knee surgery, Mason’s minutes increased and he averaged a career-high 9.1 points and a team-high .398 shooting percentage from 3-point range. When Arenas’ fill-in Antonio Daniels went down with a knee injury of his own, Mason stepped in as a starter and averaged 17.4 points while boasting a 3-point shooting percentage of .431.

Mason’s standout season earned him a high amount of attention during the first day of free agency, as 10 teams contacted him on July 1, Mason said.

The Spurs, Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets and Wizards were among the teams with the most interest in Mason, the guard said. Mason was believed to have increased his asking price to around $2.5 million a season following last season, but the Spurs obviously topped that.

Mason chose to sign a two-year deal so he would be a free agent when he was coming into his prime.

“I feel like I have a lot more room to grow as a player, so I signed for two years,” Mason said. “So, I’ll be 29 when this deal is up.

“It’s been humbling, all the attention I got during free agency,” Mason later said. “San Antonio is definitely a championship-caliper team and I’m proud to be a part of it. … It’s bitter sweet leaving Washington. My home-town team gave me the chance to get back into the league and grow. So I’ll always be appreciative to coach Eddie Jordan and Ernie Grunfeld.”

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