According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Clippers have signed Marshall Plumlee to a partially-guaranteed deal.
Free agent center Marshall Plumlee has agreed to a partially guaranteed deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 19, 2017
Plumlee doesn’t figure to be a big part of the Clippers’ plans, as he was a little-used rookie for the Knicks last season after going undrafted. He wasn’t even supposed to be an NBA player, but some combination of size, personality, and last name got him on an NBA roster last season. He averaged 1.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 8.1 minutes per game while appearing just 21 times for the Knicks last season. Those per-minute stats aren’t horrible, but at 25 years old you really have to question if Plumlee is ever going to be more than a big body—and from there, question why the Clippers sought him out.
I think it’s likely that Plumlee’s “partially guaranteed” deal is guaranteed for $50,000 and contains an exhibit 10, which would allow the Clippers to convert his contract to a 2-way deal, making him their second two-way player alongside Jamil Wilson, who was a standout combo forward for L.A. in the Las Vegas Summer League.
If this is the case, Plumlee is slotted to spend plenty of time with the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario, being called up for spot minutes when injury issues leave the Clippers needing depth down low. It’s a bit of a peculiar decision for a team whose roster features DeAndre Jordan (one of the best centers in the NBA), Willie Reed (one of the best backup centers in the NBA), and Montrezl Harrell (a backup PF/C who was solid at C for Houston last year). It’s possible that this signing indicates the Clippers see Harrell as a power forward and not a center, and/or that the team is anticipating that Reed’s current legal troubles could force him away from the team for some period of time, leaving them in need of another center.