It’s so easy to focus on all the stars the Brooklyn Nets have to boast.
But someone that shouldn’t be forgotten, especially by new head coach Jason Kidd, is rookie power forward Mason Plumlee.
Plumlee was a steal for Brooklyn with the 22nd overall pick in the draft. At 6-foot-10, 235-pounds, he is a superb athlete. In his senior season at Duke, Plumlee averaged 17.1 points and 10 rebounds per game in 34.7 minutes a night. He also shot an impressive 59.9% from the field.
Plumlee also opened some eyes in the Orlando Summer League, as he averaged 13.2 points in five games.
After four years under the brilliance that is Mike Krzyzewski, there’s no doubt that Plumlee is ready to make an immediate impact as a backup at the next level. Currently, it appears that his main competition for a spot in Brooklyn’s rotation will be veteran Reggie Evans, who provides excellent rebounding and physical defense every time he’s on the floor, but brings almost zero offense to the table.
Evans averaged a mere 4.5 points per game last season, and Plumlee is certainly capable of scoring more in a similar role. Plumlee’s athleticism and extra height are even more important for the Nets to have among their reserves. Within their backup unit, Brooklyn doesn’t possess a lot of youth, which also means a lack of athleticism. Evans, Shaun Livingston, Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko are all in their 30s.
Mirza Teletovic, who could find himself in the rotation as well, is only 27, but not much of an athlete. Andray Blatche, 26, is a great ball handler despite being 6-foot-11, but he doesn’t bring the type of agility and leaping ability that Plumlee does. The only other reserve on the roster with that type of skill set is point guard Tyshawn Taylor, and it remains to be seen whether he will receive significant minutes this season.
Even if it’s only for short stretches here and there, Kidd should try his best to get Plumlee game action whenever he can. Those stars can’t always do it on their own.