David Thorpe has consistently ranked Mason Plumlee in his top 10 rookies, mostly in the top five. Plumlee, as noted, is the top rookie in shooting percentage (62.7 percent), player efficiency rating (17.81) and dunks (87 ... 30 more than Giannis Antetokounmpo). More importantly, the Nets are 11-5 with him as a starter, 11-4 this month.
In this week's rookie rankings, Thorpe has Plumlee at No. 5 and he also has advice for the Nets seven footer on who to emulate: Chris Bosh. Indeed, Bosh would be a good model, having developed a deadly mid-range shot. Plumlee, on the other hand, has taken eight shots outside the paint ... and missed all of them.
Thorpe writes for ESPN Insider...
Mason Plumlee should study Chris Bosh. Plumlee has done an excellent job of doing what he knows he can do and not trying to expand his game (and fail and lose his rotation spot in the process). But if he could develop a midrange shot, an active body like his would become a far more valuable asset, especially considering Plumlee never projected as someone who could score.
When Bosh signed with Miami, the Heat needed him to be more of a perimeter threat to help create driving lanes for their superstar wings. He responded by growing into one of the elite midrange shooters in the league the past two seasons.
Bosh's shot almost always looks exactly the same -- a big key Plumlee can drill down on right away. Bosh also flows to the right spot easily, a place where he can both execute a catch-and-shoot or, if his defender is a step too close to him, leave a lane for LeBron James or Dwyane Wade to drive through.
The Nets have Plumlee for four years. His highest salary between now and 2017 will be $2.3 million. If he should develop a solid mid-range between now and then, taking him at No. 22 will be even more of a steal than it is now.
- 2014 NBA Rookie Card - Mason Plumlee (Nets) - David Thorpe - ESPN