Roger Mason Jr.
is set to leave Miami and will soon be a free agent. (Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images)
The Heat have agreed to trade guard Roger Mason Jr. and cash to the Kings in a salary dump. Technically, the Heat will receive a second-round pick from Sacramento, but the protection is reported to be so restrictive that it will never convey.
The deal was first reported by CBSSports.com and subsequently clarified by ESPN.com.
The motivation for Miami here is two-fold: to free up a roster spot in case a more intriguing buyout candidate becomes available, and to trim its luxury-tax bill (if only slightly). The Kings' role is solely to receive Mason's contract while netting some money in the process. Sacramento is reportedly prepared to waive the 33-year-old after the trade is approved.
It's worth noting that Miami could have waived Mason before last month's contract-guarantee deadline; at that point, the Heat would not have been responsible for his salary beyond his release. By keeping Mason through that deadline, though, the Heat agreed to pay his full $1.4 million veteran minimum for the season. Mason has played just 260 minutes for Miami this year, many in garbage time.
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