Brooklyn player previews: Mason PlumleeNets' top 2013 draft pick set to learn from an All-Star frontcourt
If the 2012-13 rotation is any indication, it will be more of a learning season than a playing one for the 23-year-old taken with the No. 22 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft – but here’s what you need to know about the middle brother of the Plumlee family hoops dynasty.
If you look up “basketball family” in the proverbial dictionary, you might find the Plumlee family tree; Mason’s maternal grandfather, both parents, and two uncles all played college hoops, older brother Miles played with him at Duke from 2009-12, and younger brother Marshall is there now.
While the Plumlee family is from Indiana, Mason (and brother Miles) played at Christ School in Arden, N.C., where the newest Net draftee was a stud his final two seasons; he earned a silver medal with Team USA at the 2008 FIBA Americas Under-18 championship as a junior, then was named a McDonald’s All-American and North Carolina’s Mr. Basketball in 2009 after averaging 15.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.5 blocks per game for the year.
A three-year starter and one-time National Champion under Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Plumlee averaged 17.1 points, 9.9 boards, and 1.4 blocks in 36 games for the Blue Devils last season, earning First Team All-ACC and Second Team All-American honors. He led the ACC with 260 defensive rebounds, was second in total points, total rebounds, field goal percentage and rebounds per game, and ranked third in the conference in points per game.
After being drafted, he took part in the Orlando Summer League, where he averaged 13.2 points and 7.0 rebounds in 29.4 minutes per game over five games.
Big things may come for Plumlee eventually, but it’s safe to say you can probably expect little out of him this season, as Nets GM Billy King said in an interview with GoDuke.com last week that the rookie will likely get most of his run with the team’s D-League affiliate in Springfield, Mass.
"I think Mason has done a good job being a rookie and not getting in the way of the veterans and listening to them," King said. "For him to have Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, Brook Lopez, those guys can show him the right way to be a pro. It's going to help him for his long-term career. It's a great upside and the foundation for him will continue. This year, he'll have a chance. We're deep, but I think he'll play a lot of time in the D-League. If the opportunity arises, I'm sure he'll play for us as well."
If all goes to plan for the Nets, it’s almost certain that most of Plumlee’s playing time will come in so-called “garbage time,” as he sits third at best at both the power forward and center positions on the depth chart; because of that, we won’t put a prediction on his totals, but will estimate that his final numbers will likely look similar to those of Toko Shengelia’s in his rookie season last year.