It looked like another typical Pistons’ free-agent signing, where they overpay for a mediocre player who no one else had any interest in paying.
But now? The Mason Plumlee signing is starting to look pretty good.
At the time, I had to agree with the assessment that the Pistons overpaid when they signed Mason Plumlee to a 3-year deal. They’ve made the mistake of acting early and irrationally in free agency before, so people were right to be skeptical.
Plumlee is a center who has averaged double digits in points just twice in his 8-year career and has never even sniffed double-digit rebounds.
He doesn’t block shots or stretch the floor with long-range shooting, so this was a bit of a head-scratcher.
But I am starting to trust Troy Weaver, who seems to have an eye for talent and saw some things with Plumleee that other teams missed.
Here is why the addition of Mason Plumlee was smart.
Detroit Pistons: Where does Mason Plumlee rank among centers?
Mason Plumlee has played very well for the Detroit Pistons this year. He is currently 20th in rebounding among centers, sandwiched between Anthony Davis and Tristan Thompson.
He is pulling down 8.7 rebounds per game, best of his career.
Plumlee is 3rd among centers in assists, averaging 3.5 per game and doing it in far fewer minutes than the other players on the list, who also have much higher usage rates.
Plumlee is nearly averaging a double-double in just over 27 minutes a game while adding 3.5 assists for $8 million a year, which is looking like a value contract.
Detroit Pistons: Could the Pistons trade Mason Plumlee?
There are a whole lot of teams that could use a center like Plumlee, especially considering he is on a team-friendly contract.
One of the reasons the Plumlee signing was panned was that guys like Nerlens Noel and Robin Lopez signed for less. Go check out those numbers and see how that looks. Would you rather have Plumlee at $8 million putting up numbers or Noel at $5 million glued to the bench?
Detroit can probably move Plumlee if they want and should look to a team like the New Orleans Pelicans, who need a backup big and have a trove of picks and young players the Pistons could target.
Even if the Pistons don’t move him this season, he is a productive big man on a reasonable deal, so he’ll be even more movable next year and the year after that.
He’s a solid fundamental veteran who can teach
If you’ve watched the Detroit Pistons this season then you’ve probably noticed Plumlee doing a lot of talking to the young guys.
He is a smart, fundamental player who sets a good example, is a good teammate and doesn’t take anything off the table. He’s happy with any role he’s given and can show these young guys how to be a professional in the NBA.
The Plumlee jokes were flying when the Pistons inked him to a 3-year deal (many of them from me) but Troy Weaver is having the last laugh, as he’s been a valuable addition who now looks like a future asset.