Nets fans Cheer for Plumlee in Brooklyn
Since moving to Brooklyn, the Nets have shown that they’re never afraid to make a splash.
Amid a swirl of trade rumors about possibly landing the Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry, the host team for the 2013 NBA Draft selected center Mason Plumlee with the 22nd overall pick. Plumlee got a lot of love from his new home crowd, as Nets fans turned out in force in support at Barclays Center’s first NBA Draft. Mason seemed genuinely excited about his new team in Brooklyn, smiling throughout his post-draft presser and an additional media huddle with the Nets reporters in the hallway.
All this a couple of weeks removed from soon-to-be Hall of Famer Jason Kidd being announced as the head coach and the reported addition of Boston’s core duo to the Nets All-Star trio of Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, and Joe Johnson.
Plumlee is a seven-foot center at roughly 240 pounds and played all four years of his college career at Duke, one of the few seniors taken in the first round. Mason posted an average of 17 points, 10 boards and 1.5 blocks on 59.9 % shooting in his final season as a Blue Devil. His offensive game is solely in the paint, with several go-to post moves including a nice skyhook. In addition, he moves well without the ball, has solid handles for a big man, and the sprint speed to run the floor. Defensively, Mason has quick feet for his size and would not be completely lost in some switching situations.
Scouts also like his athleticism which will aid his development on both sides of the ball. Plumlee was a strong pick and roll player in college and solid shot blocker, which led a lot of scouts to believe he is one of the most pro-ready players in this class. Having said that, he is light and lanky for his size and position when compared to some of the extremely powerful big men in the NBA. With no offensive game outside 12 feet, his effectiveness in the post will be tested by heavier and stronger players. His ability to defend those same players will define his NBA value. In terms of intangibles, Plumlee has four years of experience playing for one of the most prominent college programs in the country where he showed poise and leadership qualities.
Mason gives the Nets insurance for Brook Lopez as a scoring center and paint defender. This allows backup center Andray Blatche the flexibility to play the 4 more often. Blatche is also a free-agent this summer and the Nets may lose power forwards Kris Humphries and Reggie Evans in the Boston trade. Plumlee can fill their rebounding roles if both or all three of them depart. With ability to play the pick and roll, it’s easy to envision Plumlee being a contributor off the bench in year one. And with a veteran-laden team, he won’t have the pressure to produce high-quality minutes immediately and can develop at his own pace.
Mason Plumlee is excited about coming to Brooklyn and Nets fans should be too.
Plumlee talked to reporters after he was selected, and GM Billy King also answered questions from the media. Listen to some of their comments below.
Julian Atienza covers the Nets and Mets for WFUV Sports.