July 18, 2016, 9:31 am
The Milwaukee Bucks have locked in a part of their frontcourt rotation for the foreseeable future.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Charles F. Gardner is reporting that the Bucks have agreed with Miles Plumlee on a four year, $50 million contract. Marc Stein has since reported that the deal is actually worth $52 million.
Plumlee was traded to the Bucks as part of the three team trade that shipped out Brandon Wright and brought Michael Carter-Williams to Wisconsin back in February of 2015. He only appeared in 19 games in his half-campaign with Milwaukee but emerged as a more regular part of the rotation this past season.
The 27 year old played in 61 games for the Bucks, making 14 starts. He shot a career-best 60.1% from the floor on his way to per-game averages of 5.1 points and 3.8 rebounds. Plumlee averaged just 14.3 minutes per night, but perhaps will see an expanded role given his new contract and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s full-time transition to the backcourt.
At first glance this deal is a little bit of a head scratcher as the team dedicates heavy term and lots of dollars (cap explosion aside) to a fairly nondescript player. Alongside Greg Monroe and John Henson, the Bucks have now committed a hefty sum of money to their big men. While Milwaukee surely did their due diligence, one quick sign of hope is Plumlee’s positive Net Rating, meaning the Bucks outscore their opponents whenever the Duke product is on the floor. While last season produced a career-worst Defensive Rating of 107, Plumlee turned in a wonderful 115 Offensive Rating.
If there really is something about Plumlee that helps the Bucks score at that clip then this move could be a steal. With the Greek Freak at point guard and presumably a tweaked offense in place it remains to be seen if Plumlee can keep up that pace, but Milwaukee will certainly have some interesting wrinkles this year. Ultimately, Plumlee had a fine end to last season and could still have some untapped potential. While the sticker shock is very real, it’s not all that bad in the context of this summer.