Finger surgery ends Mason's time with Wizards

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Sports,NBA,Wizards,Craig Stouffer
Guard to be waived to open up roster spot

Roger Mason Jr.'s Washington homecoming will come to a close prematurely. The Wizards guard is set for season-ending surgery Monday to fix an avulsion fracture of his left index finger.

Mason will be waived ahead of Washington's final six games, allowing the team to fill his place on the roster for the final 10 days of the season.

A D.C. native and Virginia alum, Mason joined the Wizards for the second time in his nine-year NBA career this season after spending two years in Washington from 2006 to 2008. He averaged 5.5 points a game -- almost double his 2.9 average the previous season with the New York Knicks -- along with 1.3 rebounds.

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Wizards at Bulls
When » Monday, 8 p.m.
Where »
United Center, Chicago
TV » CSN+

As vice president of the National Basketball Players Association, Mason became a symbol of the lockout when he tweeted, "Looking like a season. How u," in September, especially when the season didn't start until Christmas.

Mason's signing with the Wizards was meant to add a veteran presence in the locker room and bolster Washington's perimeter scoring. However, he was hardly used by former coach Flip Saunders and his replacement, Randy Wittman, before the team dealt Nick Young to the Los Angeles Clippers at the trade deadline.

Mason scored a season-high 19 points in a 99-89 win over New Orleans on March 15, the first game after the trade, and he averaged 9.7 points, 2.4 rebounds and nearly 23 minutes per game in April. He was 5-for-20 in his final three games, including 3-for-12 from 3-point range.

"It has been a grind this season," Mason said after finishing with three points and a rebound in Saturday's 98-89 loss to Cleveland. "But we have a young team, and guys still have a lot to prove. All we can do is continue to play hard for ourselves and for our fans."

The Wizards also will renew forward James Singleton for another 10-day contract that will keep him with the team through the end of the year. Singleton has averaged 9.8 points and 7.7 rebounds in six games. Cartier Martin, who has been with Washington via consecutive 10-day contracts, is also expected to stay for the duration of the season.

Fatigue has begun to creep in for the Wizards (14-46), who have lost 12 of their last 15 games, missing their franchise low in points by one in Friday's 103-65 loss at the New York Knicks. Washington set that mark the last time they visited the Eastern Conference-leading Bulls, losing 78-64 to a team that was without Derrick Rose.

"Whether you are [tired] or not, the team you're playing with is in the same boat," Wittman said after the Cavaliers game. "If that is the case, then they're more mentally tougher than we are. That's my conclusion. ... We got 10 to 11 days left, and you don't want to go out like this."

cstouffer@washingtonexaminer.com

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Craig Stouffer

Staff writer - sports
The Washington Examiner