The Clippers have brought back the last of their free agents, as it was announced today that they will re-sign Mason Plumlee to a one-year, $5M deal.

Plumlee was acquired at the February 2023 trade deadline for Reggie Jackson and a second round pick, and thrived off the bench for the Clippers in the backup center role. Plumlee averaged 7.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in just 19.9 minutes per game across 23 regular season games for the Clippers, and upped that production to 8.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 18.2 minutes during the Clippers’ first round loss to the Suns.

The one year, $5M deal is an excellent one for the veteran center, as Plumlee, despite defensive deficiencies, is one of the best backup big men in the NBA. The one year deal will also enable the Clippers to sign him to a longer deal next summer, or let him go as needed to keep under the second apron. It was noted by Woj that Plumlee turned down larger deals to stay with the Clippers and compete, which is very cool. Also notable: no such thing was mentioned about Russ, so the notion to me that he “passed down much bigger deals” elsewhere remains a conjecture (and not a likely one in my opinion). Usually when players do turn down bigger deals, it’s mentioned, both to keep the agent pleased and to put the player in a favorable light.

With this signing, the Clippers’ depth chart is now complete. If anything, the Clippers are once again overflowing with rotation players, another indication that a major deal (more than just dumping Marcus Morris) is coming. Bringing back Plumlee also does enable the Clippers to feel a bit more comfortable with trading Ivica Zubac, which has been rumored, though Plumlee’s significantly worse play on defense than Big Zu does not make me feel comfortable with such a notion.

Mason Plumlee quickly became a fan favorite on the Clippers due to his playmaking and finishing as well as flair (to put it kindly) as a ballhandler in the opencourt. It’s good to see he will be sticking around another year. Welcome back, Mase!

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