Is Mason Plumlee a Keeper for the Brooklyn Nets?

Ciaran GowanContributor IIIJanuary 24, 2014

Brooklyn Nets' Mason Plumlee (1) looks to pass against the Detroit Pistons during a preseason NBA basketball game on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
Kathy Kmonicek/Associated Press

Brooklyn Nets rookie Mason Plumlee has had an up-and-down season so far, being thrust into some tough situations as the frontcourt has dealt with a ton of injuries.

On the whole, the No. 22 pick has been impressive, though. He won't be competing for Rookie of the Year, but to get 13 points and seven rebounds per 36 minutes from a young big man is nothing to complain about.

INDIANAPOLIS - DECEMBER 28: Mason Plumlee #1 of the Brooklyn Nets goes up for the reverse dunk against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on December 28, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,
Ron Hoskins/Getty Images

What's particularly notable is Plumlee's field-goal percentage. He's shooting 63 percent on the season, which indicates that he knows his limitations and is selective with his offensesomething a lot of rookies struggle with.

Of course, a big reason for that is the Nets' talent elsewhere in offense, but it's still a positive nonetheless.

Plumlee's minutes have dropped significantly in recent weeks—he's eclipsed the 10-minute mark just twice in the new yearbut there was a point around the peak of his playing time that he was considered a top-10 rookie on ESPN, and Sheridan Hoops' respective rookie rankings.

From the 16th to the 29th of November, Plumlee was averaging 20.7 minutes per game, and that's where we really started to see signs of a productive player.

That stretch included two of the three games in which he's reached double figures in scoring, highlighted by this performance against the Los Angeles Clippers:

With Andray Blatche back and performing well in 2014, chances are we won't see much more of Plumlee for the rest of the season, save the occasional game where the team decides to rest Kevin Garnett completely.

Ultimately, though, the little we have seen of Plumlee should be taken as a positive. It's hard to gauge his exact ceiling, but for a team strapped of cap space and draft picks in the coming years, it's nice to know that the least the Nets have here is an efficient, athletic 7-footer.

The key for Plumlee's development is going to be taking as many pointers as possible from the likes of KG, Paul Pierce and Jason Kidd. In terms of veteran presence, this is one of the best situations in the NBA for a rookie, and he needs to take advantage of that as much as he possibly can.

Given that he'll be under contract for the foreseeable future, Plumlee was always going to be a keeper for the next few years, but the limited action we've seen from him indicates he'll be someone worth developing, rather than just roster filler.