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Desmond Mason vs. Reality

Posted by Neil Paine on August 21, 2009

Apparently Desmond Mason can't come to terms with the Thunder on a contract, because the two parties can't agree on a role for him:

"Desmond is not ready to be relegated to a cheerleader and relegated to a mentor for the younger players," [Mason's agent] said. "Desmond's got a lot left in the tank."

Does he? Really?

Using our handy Full Court Player Season Finder tool, let's quickly review the masterpiece that was Mason's season in 2008-09... Among players with 1000 or more minutes, nobody had fewer Win Shares than Mason. Only 24 players scored fewer points per minute than Mason. Only 4 players had a lower True Shooting %. Only 56 players (out of 259) had a lower assist rate. Only 57 of 259 had a worse Defensive Rating. Only 24 players with as little usage as himself had a higher turnover rate. Oh, and he also had easily the league's worst statistical plus/minus (-6.07) among players who saw at least 1000 MP.

In other words, if there's a statistical category out there (at least in terms of the box score), odds are that it showed Desmond Mason to be a really bad player last season. Not just mediocre, not just below-average, but legitimately terrible. Now, you might be making excuses for Desmond, saying that he was hurt a lot last year, and had to be shut down in January because of a knee injury, so maybe it's not a fair 39-game sample upon which to judge Mason.

OK, I'll grant that. So how about the 243 games he's played since 2005-06 (which theoretically should have included some prime seasons)? Would that be a large enough sample? How was he over that span?

Still gawd-awful.

All of which begs the question, on what planet does Desmond Mason deserve a multi-year contract "in the neighborhood of" $5+ million per? To be honest, he's lucky anybody is still interested in him at all after his last four seasons. Because four years of purely awful basketball is not an aberration. It's a trend. And it's only getting worse.

9 Responses to “Desmond Mason vs. Reality”

  1. Jason J Says:

    Wait, wasn't Mason the piece of the Ray Allen / Gary Payton trade that the Bucks considered part of their post-Sam/Ray/Glenn core? Yikes.

  2. khandor Says:

    As I said yesterday on my blog, I think Desmond would still be a decent fit with a team like the 76ers, with an opening on their roster for a relatively low-cost, role-playing veteran back-up #3/SF [provided he is healthy] ... despite the atrocious "numbers" he's put up in recent years.

    As long as the dollar figure is low and the length of term small, Philly needs to sign at least one more Wing player, any way you slice it. Desmond has always been higly coachable and a solid team player.

  3. Palmer Eldritch Says:


    I hope you don't actually like the Sixers, dude. We already have plenty of clumsy, idiotic "gifted athletes" on our team, thank you very much, and the ones we already have sometimes manage to set a pick, get a stop on defense or make a jump shot. The Sixers may need a wing, but the point of this post is that Desmond Mason is legendarily bad at playing the wing, and even worse at making his teammates more effective.

  4. khandor Says:

    re: "We already have plenty of clumsy, idiotic “gifted athletes” on our team, thank you very much ..."

    IYO, who on the 76ers actually fits into that category?

    This is what their signed player roster looks like at the moment:

    1 Williams/PG
    2 Green/OG
    3 Iguodala/SF
    4 Young/PF
    5 Dalembert/C
    6 Ivey/PG
    7 Kapono/OG-SF
    8 Brand/PF [returning from injury
    9 Speights/C
    10 Holiday/PG-OG [rookie]
    11 Smith/PF [returning from injury]
    12 Brezec/C [FA signing]

    Q1. Is Desmond Mason an ideal pick-up?
    A1. Of course not.

    Q2. Might he at least fill a gapping need on thier roster, at the back-up Wing position?
    A2. Just maybe.


    Personally, something I believe the 76ers will soon be experimenting with again is the possibility of using:

    - Iguodala as their main #2/OG
    - shifting Green to the bench
    - using Young as their main SF, and
    - returning Brand [PF] to their starting line-up

    ... now that they have replaced Miller with Williams' increased athleticism at the PG spot.

    Their bench would then look like this:

    PG - Holiday & Ivey
    OG - Green
    SF - Kapono
    PF - Smith
    C - Speights & Brezec

    Either way ... there's a need for another Wing player to be added before the season tips.

  5. Joe Says:

    They got Donyell Marshall too..

  6. khandor Says:

    I left both Donyell Marshall & Kareem Rush off Philly's roster for the time being as, according to, neither one has signed a contract with the 76ers yet for the upcoming season.

  7. mauifresh Says:

    After the ray allen trade mason became one of the main building blocks of the milwaukee bucks taking them to the playoffs two consecutive years. He was a great leader and always played above the rim. he had his career years averaging over 17ppg and about 7rpg one of those years. He and TJ Ford were highlight reels pretty much every game those years they played together. offseason 04'-05 i believe bucks gave a lofty contract to bobby simmons( a horrible player coming off most improved player year in a contract year) and promised mason they weren't going to trade him to soon after ship him out to new orleans for jamal magloire (one of the slowest players i've seen with butterfingers coming off an all star year)mind you they also drafted bogut and also gave gadzuric a hefty contract and let zaza pachulia go. they fired porter and folks that was the last time bucks had a post season appearance; during the mason, TJ ford era. His career went on a downward spiral and even publicly called bucks then GM larry harris "a snake in the grass". Aside from all his injuries his focus and passion he had for the game was damaged and hasn't been the same since. he's a player that competed with the most heart and grit and was a vocal locker room/floor leader that's played in a bucks uniform since ray allen departed. i'd like to see mason play with TJ ford again and i think he can help the pacers and resurrect his career, I wish him the best no matter where he ends up. He's still young and i agree with his agent has enough left in his tank to wow a crowd with his thunderous dunks, best of luck to you mason.

  8. Sean Forman Says:



  9. Tawnya Griesi Says:

    Who knows what happens next... All I know is:

    All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand. :)