The Clippers have acquired Charlotte Hornets center Mason Plumlee for Reggie Jackson and a 2028 2nd round pick, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Plumlee was one of the most talked-about centers on the market at this trade deadline, as the Charlotte Hornets are clearly in tanking mode and had no need for a solid veteran center who will turn 33 years old in March and hit unrestricted free agency this summer. He represents a sorely-needed addition for the Clippers, who have lacked a second NBA-quality big man behind Ivica Zubac all season long and are especially vulnerable on the interior with soon-to-be 3-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic blocking any likely path to title contention in the Western Conference. Averaging 12.2 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists for the Hornets this year, Plumlee is having a strong season and I am surprised that it only cost the Clippers a single future second-round pick to acquire him. While he is offensively limited to finishing around the rim as a scorer, he is capable of crafty passing that might help the Clippers via short roll creation on the second unit, where he should spend lots of time with Norman Powell. He isn’t as strong of an interior defensive presence as Zubac, but still represents a massive upgrade over smallball options and a little more foot speed than Zu on the perimeter. I’m a big fan of this pickup at this price point for the Clippers.
The loss of Jackson, one of the best playoff performers in Clippers franchise history during their 2021 Western Conference Finals run, stings. He had been the emotional centerpiece of this team for much of the last two years. However, his inconsistency this season was difficult to overlook, and it seemed inevitable that the team would seek to upgrade his role at this deadline. While Eric Gordon isn’t the point guard many expected the Clippers to acquire today, Jackson was going to struggle for playing time after his arrival and replacing his salary slot by filling a pressing need at backup center is a good piece of business–even as it is a reminder that the NBA is, in fact, a business. Jackson is reportedly expected to reach a buyout agreement with the Hornets so that he can join a playoff team down the stretch, with the Phoenix Suns linked as an early suitor.
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