Plumlee is expected to open the season as Milwaukee's starting center, CF Gardner of the Journal Sentinel reports.
While nothing is ever set in stone with Jason Kidd, Plumlee has been working with the first unit in recent practices and has been considered the favorite to start at center since the start of camp. That said, Milwaukee has other viable options in Greg Monroe and John Henson, so it's possible Kidd could experiment with different lineups over the first few weeks of the season.
Plumlee supplied 10 points (4-5 FG, 2-2 FT) and eight rebounds across 19 minutes in Wednesday's 111-103 preseason win over the Pacers.
Coach Jason Kidd listed Plumlee as his starting center heading into training camp, and it doesn't look like he'll deviate from that plan when the regular season arrives. Plumlee has logged starts in the last three preseason contests, with the Bucks valuing the steadiness he brings on both ends of the court as a supporting player on the top unit. Plumlee's skill set as an effective screener and capable rim protector doesn't translate to much production in the form of counting stats, however, and he'll likely end up seeing fewer minutes than top bench big man Greg Monroe, who provides more of a scoring presence in the low block.
Plumlee saw an increased role with the Bucks during the second half of last season, ultimately starting 14 of his 61 games. He was rewarded for his strong finish to the campaign with a four-year, $52 million contract, and will now tentatively top the depth chart at center above Greg Monroe, who proved to be a less-than-ideal fit after signing with the Bucks last season. It's possible that Monroe could end up dominating the bulk of the minutes at center even if he ends up sticking in a bench role, but it's likely the Bucks will pursue trading him at some point this season to clear up more time for Plumlee and John Henson. Until a Monroe trade happens, however, it may be difficult for Plumlee to absorb enough minutes to make a meaningful fantasy impact.
Plumlee is coming off a season in Milwaukee where he appeared in 61 games, starting 14, and averaged 5.1 points and 3.8 rebounds over 14.3 minutes. The deal may indicate that the Bucks are going to continue to look to move center Greg Monroe via trade, in which case Plumlee would see an elevated role either as a starting center or the backup behind John Henson. Should Milwaukee elect to keep Monroe, however, Plumlee's role in the Bucks' rotation will likely remain minimal barring any serious injuries.
Plumlee was extended a qualifying offer from the Bucks on Tuesday, making him a restricted free agent, C.F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Plumlee will be able to receive an offer from any team on the open free agent market, but the Bucks will still have the opportunity to match those offers due to his status as a restricted free agent. Plumlee participated in 61 games, including 14 starts, for the Bucks this past season and posted averages of 5.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.8 blocks over 14 minutes. With rumors swirling around the Bucks about potentially trading Greg Monroe, Plumlee could see an elevated role with the Bucks, however, with the salary cap on the rise, a team may offer him a salary that the Bucks are unwilling to match.
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