How should the LA Clippers approach Mason Plumlee this offseason?

Mason Plumlee, LA Clippers
Mason Plumlee, LA Clippers / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

With the LA Clippers' postseason ending in a disappointing loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the front office is now faced with a crucial decision at the backup center. Mason Plumlee and Daniel Theis, both free agents this offseason, are under consideration, along with newcomer Kai Jones who has signed a multi-year deal with LA.

The best strategy for the front office would be to allow Plumlee to explore free agency and secure Theis on a short-term deal. This approach enables Jones to develop his skills and ensures a reliable backup for starting center Ivica Zubac.

Furthermore, Plumlee is a solid backup center with quality experience that several championship teams could utilize. However, he seemed to struggle in the games Zubac missed and never filled his role to the expectations of head coach Tyronn Lue. This inevitably became an issue once the Clippers flipped the switch to the playoffs.

The postseason spotlight emphasized why the LA Clippers should let go of Mason Plumlee this summer.

When evaluating Mason Plumlee's regular season for the LA Clippers, it appears he gave his best effort when given the opportunity. He averaged 5.3 points and 5.1 boards in 14.7 minutes and made ridiculous passes from inside the three-point line. This is all you can ask for from a veteran center on a one-year deal.

Conversely, the playoffs unfolded to a different outcome. In addition to his points plummeting to 3.2, Plumlee shot an atrocious 38.9% from the field. This is not a good look for a player who attempts all his shots around the rim. He had the chance to earn himself a more extensive contract in the offseason, but instead, he lowered his value to interested teams around the league.

The eye test gives the Clippers every reason to move on to other candidates. Plumlee has regressed drastically from an offensive standpoint. He lost his ability to finish around the rim, make difficult passes in traffic, and crash the glass for extra opportunities. Defensively, there is no bright spot. The former Duke product is a liability around the perimeter and allows for easy baskets to be scored in the paint.

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Moreover, Theis may not be the most sustainable option for the backup position, but his experience and ability to contribute more than Plumlee at age 34 can provide a sense of reassurance. There is no rationale behind resigning Plumlee unless he takes a veteran-minimum pay cut to help develop Jones to his true potential.