The Nets had chances to trade Mason Plumlee early in the season, but the problem at the time was that he was playing well while Brook Lopez was sidelined due to injury, and the offers wouldn’t have brought back enough in return.
Brooklyn was reportedly deep in talks with the Kings on a multi-player deal that would have shed the contract of Deron Williams, but Sacramento asking for Plumlee to be thrown in eventually killed the conversation.
As the Nets look to dramatically reshape the roster this summer, just about everything is on the table. And that includes revisiting what the market may now be like for Plumlee’s services.
From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
It’s unavoidably tantalizing to think about what the Nets might have gotten for Plumlee, had they actively shopped him before he fell out of favor — bearing in mind the two future first-round picks Denver extracted from Cleveland for Timofey Mozgov.
Some rival executives think the Nets might go ahead and explore the Plumlee marketplace anyway, in hopes teams remember his dogged play for Team USA the past summer more than his struggles to get on the floor under first-year Nets coach Lionel Hollins. Now, though, would not appear to be the ideal time to see what shopping him might fetch. …
And I’m hearing teams have indeed begun to inquire about availability of Mason Plumlee based on belief Nets willing to move young big man
The only scenario that should be appealing in terms of trading Plumlee would be one in which Williams or Joe Johnson would be dealt at the same time, while Brooklyn received young talent or draft picks in return to jumpstart the rebuilding process.
Plumlee is still on a rookie scale contract, and having productive players on those inexpensive deals is invaluable for teams trying to manage salary cap and luxury tax challenges.
The Nets have wildly overspent in recent years, and it’s gotten them nowhere. Even if Brook Lopez re-signs in free agency, and even though Plumlee played sparingly as Brooklyn made its late-season run to make the playoffs, Plumlee remains a solid prospect capable of improving. And for what the Nets are paying him, he’s an even better fit for the long-term plans of the franchise.