The Denver Nuggets and RFA Mason Plumlee have agreed to a three-year deal worth $41 Million, per Adrain Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The Denver Nuggets and Mason Plumlee have agreed to a deal that will keep Plumlee with the Nuggets through 2020. ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to break the story.
Restricted free agent Mason Plumlee has agreed to a three-year, $41M deal to return to Denver, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 18, 2017
Plumlee will return on a three-year deal worth $41 million. It’s important to note that it has been reported the deal includes no options and no guarantees. As far as we can tell, this is a true three-year deal.
For Plumlee, this means he will avoid playing the season on a $4.6 million qualifying offer. He’s secured a long-term deal at market value and avoided having to bet on himself.
The former Blue Devil played in 27 games with the Nuggets last season after a mid-season trade from Portland. Of those 27 games, Plumlee started in 10. He averaged 9.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game.
While he’s played in a somewhat limited role thus far in his career, Mason is one of the better passing bigs in the entire NBA. This arguably gives the Nuggets the best passing front court in the league alongside Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap.
Plumlee will back up Nikola Jokic and may even see some time at power forward next year. Taking a look at the Nuggets roster, there’s clearly a major log jam with bigs and guards.
— Jacob Goldstein (@JacobEGoldstein) September 18, 2017
The Nuggets now have 15 guaranteed contracts and 2 two-way deals with Torrey Craig and Monte Morris. There’s definitely something to be said for depth, but Denver will have a lot to figure out regarding their front court rotation.
Last season, the Nuggets had a number of different starting line-ups and were still trying to figure out their rotations as the season came to a close. Clearly, Mike Malone will have his work cutout for him once again.
Plumlee tweeted out a letter he penned to Nuggets nation following the signing. The major themes included: his excitement on remaining a Nugget long-term, his contempt for losing and an apology on his inability to connect with the fans in his short season with Denver.
Here’s a link to the entire letter:
— Mason Plumlee (@masonplumlee) September 18, 2017
One takeaway from the letter is that Plumlee was never completely comfortable in his time with the Nuggets last season. He experienced a mid-season trade and wasn’t able to settle down and get used to his new surroundings in Denver.
Signing this three-year will provide Plumlee with some much needed stability. Perhaps any newfound feelings of comfort and stability will be reflected in his play on the court. Plumlee will enter this season knowing that he can call Denver his home. And a full training camp, pre-season, and regular season should help him gel with his relatively new teammates.
$41 Million might seem steep for a RFA who had garnered little interest on the market this far into the offseason and is expected to come off of the bench. But the Nuggets have filled an important role with this deal and can now focus on consolidating the roster.
Only time will tell if this contract is indeed an overpay. But Plumlee now has three full seasons in Denver to prove the contrary and ingratiate himself with the Nuggets fans. Here’s to hoping he does just that by helping the team to finally return to the postseason.