The Nets have exercised their team options to keep Mason Plumlee and Sergey Karasev on their rookie scale contracts through 2015/16, the team announced. The moves were expected for both, and particularly for Plumlee, who was a part of Team USA’s gold medal-winning squad in the FIBA World Cup this summer after a strong rookie season last year. Plumlee will make nearly $1.416MM in 2015/16, while Karasev is in line for almost $1.6MM that year, as our Rookie Scale Team Option Tracker shows.
Plumlee, the 22nd overall pick in 2013, was efficient in his time on the floor last season, racking up a 19.0 PER, and he began to see more significant run after Brook Lopez went down to injury, averaging 9.1 points and 6.0 rebounds in 22.0 minutes per game after the All-Star break. Karasev came to Brooklyn via trade from the Cavs, who drafted him last year three picks before the Nets selected Plumlee. The small forward from Russia made it into just 22 NBA games for an average of 7.1 minutes per contest as a rookie, but Brooklyn, owned by fellow Russian Mikhail Prokhorov, insisted on receiving Karasev in the deal instead of a pair of second-round picks.
The moves give the Nets about $58.7MM in commitments against a projected $66.5MM salary cap for 2015/16, though that figure doesn’t include a player option worth more than $16.7MM for Lopez. It also doesn’t take into account a rookie scale team option worth more than $2MM for Marquis Teague, but the Nets are reportedly close to trading Teague to the Sixers.