Plumlee didn’t exactly live up to expectations in Denver last season, though. While Jusuf Nurkic thrived in Portland, the Nuggets missed the playoffs. Plumlee and Nikola Jokic merely meandered as a tandem.
Free agency proved particularly harsh for restricted free agents and centers, and Plumlee was both. A $4,588,840 qualifying offer lingered.
But Denver stepped up with a big payday.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
That’s a lot of money for a backup center. Probably too much.
Plumlee is already 27, so while he might remain effective through this deal, he probably has untapped upside. What you see is what you get: A mobile finisher who passes willingly and defends with more effort than ability.
But where does he fit in Denver?
The Nuggets will start Paul Millsap and Jokic, and they’re overstuffed with backup power forwards – Darrell Arthur, Juan Hernangomez, Trey Lyles, Tyler Lydon and Kenneth Faried, who can also play center. There’s clearly a role reserved for Plumlee, given this deal.
But considering Denver’s leverage – with Plumlee being restricted, other teams not appearing interested and the Nuggets’ big man depth – this contract looks even worse.