Nets strengthen team in draft

NBA Commissioner David Stern, left, shakes hands with Duke’s Mason Plumlee, who was selected by the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 27, 2013, in New York.
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Front court play and rebounding were strengthened by the Brooklyn Nets during the National Basketball Association draft in an effort for them to go deep into the playoffs next season.

With only one selection in the 2013 draft and that came on the 22nd pick of the first of two rounds, the Nets decided on Mason Plumlee, who played four years of college ball at Duke University.

Plumlee will certainly give the Nets another body to help all-star Brook Lopez up front and at center. He can also block shots on defense and dunk on offense.

An all-American player, Plumlee averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds a game as well as assist about two a game, and blocked an average of 1.4 times as a senior.

In college he was part of winning programs.

The Nets’ brass was very much impressed with Plumlee’s college career. Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King saw him play quite a bit during his college days. Duke is coached by Mike Krzyzewski.

Plumlee was interviewed by the Nets at the combine in Chicago.

“He (Mason) brings (to the team) athletic ability. He can run the floor and gets up and down,” said King. “He’s a great kid. I think that he gives us some athletic ability up front.

“He can block shots and throw the lob (as well). He adds a dimension that we don’t have in our bigs (right now).”

His strengths are being athletic, getting up and down the floor, getting on the boards and finishing around the rim. Right now he has to work on being able to knock down shots consistently.

“That’s not something I did in college,” the newcomer to the NBA said. “I didn’t attempt jump shots. I think that’s something that can add a whole new dimension to my game.”

Now it’s up to Plumlee to get ready during their off season and to maybe step into the rotation.

“He gets to play in the summer league,” King went on. “And he gets to go to Orlando and participate in (Coach Jason) Kidd’s first coaching experience..

“I’m so excited and looking forward to the summer league, camp, and all that,” said Mason. “I couldn’t be happier with the results. I’m just happy to be part of the team right now.”

Duke’s Mason Plumlee (5) sets up a dunk for his brother Miles Plumlee (21) during a dunk contest at the Countdown to Craziness pre-season college basketball event in Durham, N.C.
AP Photo/Sara D. Davis

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