Plumlee’s contract was already partially guaranteed for $4,262,500 and called for him to receive the full guarantee unless he was waived at least 10 days before the NBA’s July moratorium begins. The moratorium will begin on July 1, which is now just nine days away.
Plumlee, 32, was Charlotte’s starting center in 2021/22 after being acquired from Detroit in an offseason trade. He averaged 6.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists in 73 games (24.6 MPG). While he’s not among the NBA’s top centers, Plumlee isn’t a bad value on a $9MM expiring deal, and it wouldn’t have made much sense for the Hornets to cut him when nearly half that amount was already guaranteed.
While Plumlee made 73 starts for the Hornets this past season, he’s unlikely to be the team’s full-time center again in 2022/23. Charlotte is said to be in the market for help at the five and has been linked to both trade candidates, such as Myles Turner, and free agents, including Kevon Looney.
Assuming the Hornets also retain their other players without full guarantees – Kelly Oubre, Jalen McDaniels, and Nick Richards – and keep both their first-round picks, they’ll have nearly $117MM on their books for 13 players. That would likely give them the flexibility to stay out of luxury tax territory even if Miles Bridges returns on a max contract or something close to it, but recent reports have suggested they may be looking to shed some salary to create more breathing room below the tax line.
Plumlee is one of several players around the NBA who has a salary guarantee date in the coming days and weeks. Our full tracker is right here.