At Thursday’s NBA draft, where he went from first round pick to afterthought in a matter of moments, Mason Plumlee said he’d never been to Brooklyn before.
He’s about to get a lot more comfortable in Kings County.
Brooklyn officially signed Plumlee to a two-year, rookie-scaled deal on Wednesday, less than a week after the team used its only pick of the 2013 NBA Draft to draft the 7-footer out of Duke. Plumlee immediately became a second thought on draft night, when word of the Nets’ trade with the Celtics for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce traveled through Barclays Center.
“It’s very exciting,” Plumlee told reporters at his first NBA practice. “I didn’t plan on (the contract) taking very long. My agent and the GM worked through it very quickly so it’s nice to have that done.”
Plumlee made a good first impression with Nets coach Jason Kidd, a rookie in his own right.
“I thought Mason looked great. He’s a rookie so were going to be tough on him and ask a lot, but I think he understands that,” Kidd said. “The biggest thing is his energy. He has a lot to learn about the game but I thought he had a good morning.”
Plumlee might even be able to offer Kidd some advice on his new gig. He did play under Mike Krzyzewski for four years at Duke, after all.
“They’re both great basketball minds,” Plumlee said about both his former and current coach.
“Everybody’s going to listen to him (Kidd) as if he’s coached 20 years,” he added.
“He has a lot of knowledge and a great understanding of the game. I’m sure he’s coached in a lot of those games with a jersey on.”
It’s possible that Plumlee could be thrust into immediate action at the start of the 2013-14 campaign. As of now the Nets have just two backup bigs (Reggie Evans and Andray Blatche) on the roster and could use some extra insurance on the bench in case Garnett and Lopez, both of whom have recently had their fair share of medical issues, go down.