We get the news from Woj:
Free agent center Mason Plumlee has agreed to a three-year, $25M deal with the Detroit Pistons, his agent Mark Bartelstein of @PrioritySports tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 20, 2020
I am just as confused as everyone else.
Mason Plumlee is the fourth center on Detroit’s roster – Tony Bradley, Isaiah Stewart, and Dewayne Dedmon are the others – and center is the least valuable position in the NBA right now. Even if you believe, as has been alluded, that Dewayne Dedmon is on his way elsewhere, this still is a curious allocation of rapidly-vanishing cap space for the Pistons.
Plumlee is not a bad player. He averaged seven points and five rebounds a game for the Nuggets, playing only 17 minutes a night behind Nikola Jokic. He remains a lob threat in the pick-and-roll (an element not shared by the other centers on the roster) and solid if unspectacular defensively. If the expectation is that Mason Plumlee is your starting center for roughly $8 million dollar a year, that’s not BAD, but it’s not… good, either.
That $8 million dollar a year figure also evaporates the bulk (the rest?) of Detroit’s available cap space. That relegates any Christian Wood pursuit to the early bird rights offer of roughly $10 million a year, which is more than he is expected to receive on the open market, even if there are only a few teams with cap space at this time.
I don’t know. It makes sense that, again, if Dedmon is on the way out, that the Pistons would not want to trust the entirety of their backline defense to Tony Bradley or a rookie, but it’s Hour 1 of free agency. You don’t know what kind of centers are going to be available in time, and what the market for those centers is going to be yet. Is Mason Plumlee SO relevant as to be worthy of a three-year commitment this early in free agency? If you’d asked me before free agency started, I would’ve said no.
We’ll see what the rest of free agency hold for the Detroit Pistons, but this is not the start fans hoped for.