Mason Plumlee was a bit of a late bloomer during his time at Duke University. If there was one thing scouts and fans could always have confidence in, it’s that Mason was an athletic freak. Standing at 6-foot-10 and weighing 235 pounds, Plumlee can get up and throw alley oops down with the best of them.
It wasn’t until has last year at Duke that he really blossomed into an all-around, NBA-ready player. He averaged 17.1 points per game and 10 rebounds. He shot 60 percent from the field and increased his free throw percentage from 53 percent the previous year to 68 percent.
Improvement like that is what caught the eye of the Brooklyn Nets and convinced them to select Plumlee with the 22nd overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. The Nets know they are getting a big, athletic body in Plumlee, but because of the situation they are in, they can afford to give him time to develop.
Barring injuries, you can expect to see Plumlee spending time in the NBA Developmental League this season honing his game. The Nets have gone all-in on trying to win a championship by acquiring Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry. They already have Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans off the bench at the power forward and center position, leaving Plumlee as the odd man out.
But this isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world for Plumlee or the Nets. Time in the D-League will help him develop some post moves and work on his team defense. And even if the Nets want to keep him on the active roster, you couldn’t ask for a better situation for a young player to be put in behind a future Hall of Famer in Garnett and one of the best young centers in the game in Brook Lopez.
The Nets might have gotten a future starting forward toward the end of the first round last year. Plumlee has the athletic gifts to succeed in this league, and he has been put in the best situation to do so.