Mason Plumlee was once thought to be a key cornerstone piece for these Brooklyn Nets, looked at as a young, athletic big who can help shape their future, as the NBA continues to shift toward being younger and more athletic. After what amounted to a rather disastrous second half of the 2014-15 season, however, some are starting to wonder whether the Nets should deal Plumlee now before it "gets worse."
Fred Katz of Bleacher Report had a nice piece on Plumlee on Monday morning, in which he looked at the possibility of the Nets locking in Brook Lopez to a long-term deal, which will ultimately mean that Plumlee's time as a central building block will come to an end.
And in fact, Stefan Bondy says the Nets are trying to deal Plumlee to move up in the draft. Responding to this article, Bondy tweeted...
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">They are trying with goal of moving up in the draft. <a href="https://t.co/ovcMYAGILV">https://t.co/ovcMYAGILV</a></p>— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) <a href="https://twitter.com/SBondyNYDN/status/610536198671572992">June 15, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Lopez could pick up a $16.7 million player option for next year, but everyone and their mothers believe he'll enter free agency to guarantee more long-term money. And the Nets have a chance to bring him back, especially if they're willing to spend whatever it takes.
But what would that mean for Plumlee? If Lopez returns, wouldn't his presence devalue the Duke alumnus within Brooklyn's system?
So the Nets might have to go ahead and deal Mase this offseason, even if his value is low.
Plumlee is more dispensable now than the Nets believed he was when he was playing his best basketball. But selling low on someone isn't always a negative, even if the connotation is rarely a good one.
Remember this: Things can always get worse. And re-signing Lopez could kill Plumlee's trade value even more.
Yes, it can always get worse. And if the Nets really want to move Deron Williams and/or Joe Johnson this season, it could require dealing Plumlee (and then some), which makes sense if they are keyed in on building around Lopez. Because, as Katz noted several times, Lopez and Plumlee should not be playing alongside each other. That combination just doesn't work.
So while Plumlee was once thought to be a major building block, it's starting to look like he's become more of a trade piece than a major factor in the team's future.
- Mason Plumlee Is the Hidden Domino in Brooklyn Nets' Offseason - Fred Katz - Bleacher Report