“We are very excited to add Rondae to our roster,” Nets GM Billy King said in a press release. “He is the type of athletic wing we were looking for, and we felt he was the best defensive player in the draft. I also wanted to thank Mason for his time with the Nets and wish him the best with his new team. Mason worked extremely hard from the first time he stepped on the court in training camp last year, and I am sure he will have a long and successful career.”
Technically, Hollis-Jefferson won’t formally join Brooklyn’s roster until he signs, though that should be merely a procedural step.
THURSDAY, 10:41am: The Blazers will acquire Mason Plumlee and the rights to Notre Dame shooting guard Pat Connaughton, who is the 41st overall pick, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. They’ll send the rights to No. 23 pick Rondae-Hollis Jefferson and Steve Blake to the Nets, Wojnarowski adds (Twitter links).
In Plumlee, the Blazers land a solid replacement should forward LaMarcus Aldridge leave Portland as is anticipated. Brooklyn was reportedly seeking a lottery pick in exchange for the 25-year-old former first rounder, so the team’s return could be considered a disappointment. While Plumlee isn’t in Aldridge’s class ability-wise, he certainly has the talent to step in as an immediate starter. He appeared in all 82 games for Brooklyn last season, averaging 8.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 0.9 assists in 21.3 minutes per night. His shooting numbers were .573/.000/.495. Plumlee is set to earn $1,415,520 next season, and his deal carries a team option worth $2,328,530 for 2016/17.
Connaughton, 22, is an exceptional athlete who possesses good shooting range. He appeared in 139 career games while at Notre Dame, averaging 10.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. His career slash line was .450/.386/.777. He was the 58th best prospect in this year’s draft according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
As for the Nets, they land Hollis-Jefferson, who is arguably the best defender in the entire draft, though there are serious concerns about his outside shot. He is a similar player to the Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in skillset. Last season at Arizona, Hollis-Jefferson averaged 11.2 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and 1.6 APG, with a slash line of .502/.207/.707.
In Blake, the Nets obtain a veteran point guard who can provide depth off the bench. The 35-year-old is entering the last year of his current deal, and is set to earn $2,170,465 in 2015/16. He appeared in 81 games last season, his most since the 2007/08 season, averaging 4.3 PPG, 1.7 RPG, and 3.6 APG. Blake made 35.2% of his shots from beyond the arc, but only sank 37.3% of his field goal attempts overall.