The Brooklyn Nets drafted Mason Plumlee with the 22nd pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, and they have been pleasantly surprised with the way that he has played this season. At the beginning of the year, Plumlee was a backup big man who played 15-20 minutes per game, but now he has become an every night starter and a key reason as to why the Nets are surging this calendar year. All that being said, just how good is Plumlee able to become?
During the draft process in 2013, Plumlee was a very intriguing prospect to many teams. Standing at 6’11″ and possessing incredible athleticism, there was no question that his physical abilities would transfer to the NBA. The concerns surrounding him were mainly about his ability to score, which has been his only issue throughout the season.
Quite simply, Plumlee is not able to score by himself. He is more than capable of getting an offensive rebound and putting the basketball back in or catching a lob for a score, but he isn’t able to create his own shot. If he wants to take the next step in his NBA career, he needs to begin working on developing a mid-range game.
As you can see from this shot chart, he hasn’t made a basket outside of the deep paint this season. Every team in the NBA needs a player who is able to rebound the ball and get the dirty work baskets, but a starting center in the NBA needs to have a post game and a bit of a mid-range game as well. He has plenty of time to work on his game, and a great mentor as well in Brook Lopez.
Plumlee has played in 60 games this season with the Nets, averaging 6.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks per game. His blocks per game average isn’t all that great, but he has the natural ability to play defense and that is one of the main reasons that he is playing as many minutes as he is. All that being said, his game is perfect for what the Nets want outside of his offense. Even without the offensive prowess, he fits in nicely with a team that has plenty of scorers and doesn’t necessarily want him to be looking for his offense when he catches the basketball.
Overall, the Brooklyn Nets are looking very smart with their decision to draft Plumlee. He may have some raw talent that needs work, but he has a great work ethic and is very coachable as well. Jason Kidd has a big man that will be capable of playing big minutes for many years to come.