So, how good will Mason Plumlee be this season?
Mason Plumlee is low-key one of the most fascinating players in the NBA. On one hand, he's entering his third year but is already 25, has never sniffed an All-Star game or even averaged more than nine points per game.
His limitations on both end of the floor are obvious to anyone who's ever watched him play. Plumlee can't shoot and isn't a great shot blocker. But for the next few seasons he's dirt cheap and has now cracked the outer shell of USA Basketball two summers in a row.
Should the Portland Trail Blazers be excited about having him as their starting center or not? Here's SB Nation's Blazer's Edge with a detailed look:
"Plumlee, therefore, is an anachronism in the modern NBA. Look around you, and everyone is finding success by using the opposite type of player. Stretch bigs are everywhere you look. The Warriors won the championship by benching Andrew Bogut in the Finals (and David Lee for basically the entire season). The Hawks dominated the East all year by playing five-out with Al Horford and Paul Millsap as their bigs. Chris Bosh has reinvented himself as a shooter over the last half-decade in Miami. Look at the Celtics, too - they just made the playoffs, and their best player according to plus/minus was stretchy center Kelly Olynyk. On the other hand, we tend to overrate trends like this because bloggers like me harp on them too much. Yes, shooting big men are en vogue, and it's an interesting league-wide development to think/talk/write about, but it doesn't mean that traditional bigs are completely irrelevant. You can still succeed with a low-post guy playing heavy minutes - just ask Doc Rivers in Los Angeles, or Kevin McHale in Houston. You just have to be smart about it."
There's no easy answer here. Plumlee may have already reached his ceiling, but if that's as a pick-and-rolling big man who can attack the offensive and defensive glass and be more mobile than the average center switching out on the perimeter, then at that price the Trail Blazers should be thrilled.
Lined up beside a seven-footer who can shoot, like Meyers Leonard, Plumlee may have found a situation where his strengths are appreciated more than his weaknesses are frowned upon. Ultimately, that's great news.
(h/t: Blazer's Edge)