L.A. Notes: Plumlee, Brown, LeBron, Wood

Mason Plumlee might have landed more money or a starting spot with another team, but he was willing to accept a one-year, $5MM contract because he wanted to stay with the Clippers, writes Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. The 33-year-old center settled into a reserve role behind Ivica Zubac after being acquired from the Hornets in February. He made just four starts in 23 games while averaging 7.5 points and 6.9 rebounds in about 20 minutes per night.

“I was very comfortable,” Plumlee said. “It’s an easy system to get comfortable with and they (front office) were just very clear and what they were looking for so that made (my decision) smooth.”

Plumlee also admitted it’s hard to leave an organization that has a chance to be a title contender. He believes the Clippers will be back in the race for the top after losing in the first round of the playoffs last season.

“That was the biggest thing, to be honest with you,” Plumlee said of the Clippers’ title aspirations. “You know, I think a lot of teams talk about it, but there are a few teams that believe it, and this is one of those teams. So that was a major factor.”

There’s more from Los Angeles:

  • Clippers rookie Kobe Brown thought he should have been taken higher than 30th in the draft, and he’s been showing why at Summer League, per Steve Reed of The Associated Press. Brown sank seven three-pointers on his way to a 35-point night in Friday’s win over the Sixers.
  • Lakers star LeBron James will change his number from 6 back to 23 next season in deference to the late Bill Russell, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “It’s LeBron’s decision,” said James’ agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group. “He chose to out of respect for Bill Russell.” 
  • Financial constraints may be keeping the Lakers from reaching out to free agent big man Christian Wood, Marc Stein suggests in a Substack chat. L.A. only has 13 players with guaranteed contracts and reportedly wants to add more size, but the team doesn’t have the available funds to make a competitive offer to Wood, who earned $14.3MM with the Mavericks last season.
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