There are many questions stemming from the 2015 NBA Draft. Two of the most pressing are: Why did Portland move a player they were reportedly in love with in Rondae Hollis-Jefferson for Mason Plumlee? Secondly, why did Brooklyn move a high-end, young contributor with a team-friendly contract?
Plumlee was a solid contributor for the Brooklyn Nets over the last two seasons, backing up Brook Lopez and playing for the United States in the FIBA World Cup. He had an 18 Player Efficiency Rating last season, and was in the top 25 in the league in offensive rebounds.
NetsDaily has an idea of why Plumlee was suddenly available. The first issue was that he was a non-factor from anything further than three feet from the rim.
From NetsDaily writer Brian Fluerantin:
Plumlee only took 20 shots outside of eight feet this year after taking eleven during the 2013-2014 campaign. In his defense, it does take time for a player that spent all of his time near the rim to expand his offensive repertoire to include jumpers (former Net Derrick Favors is one example of this. Favors still takes the majority of his shots near the rim, but he has worked to include shots from ten feet and further). Most of Plumlee's offense came from close to the basket (within three feet) and he was sixteenth best at getting offensive rebounds, scooping them up 11.3 percent of the time.
The second issue was that Plumlee never gelled with Brook Lopez, and once the team acquired Thaddeus Young, Plumlee's role was severely reduced. He was virtually absent, playing just six minutes per game, in Brooklyn's first-round loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the 2015 NBA playoffs.
The final issue is that Plumlee shot below 50% from the free throw line last season, a grievous sin for a player who lives around the rim. As long as the rules permit constantly attacking a poor free throw shooter, Plumlee's value is significantly reduced.