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Former Duke basketball star finally gets new NBA deal. Now he’s headed to...

Mason Plumlee played college basketball at Duke before heading to the NBA. He agreed to a new contract with the Denver Nuggets on Monday morning.
Mason Plumlee played college basketball at Duke before heading to the NBA. He agreed to a new contract with the Denver Nuggets on Monday morning. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

It turns out Mason Plumlee won’t be leaving Denver this season after all.

The former Duke star agreed to a three-year, $41 million deal with the Denver Nuggets on Monday morning, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Plumlee, 27, played for the team in 2016 and was a restricted free agent. The contract is comparable on a per-year basis to the one Charlotte gave center Cody Zeller last October (4 years, $56 million).

The Plumlee name should be a familiar one for Charlotte Hornets fans, especially since Mason’s older brother Miles played for the team in 2016. The Hornets sent Miles Plumlee to Atlanta as part of the deal to acquire Dwight Howard. Mason’s younger brother Marshall Plumlee is also in the league, currently signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.

All three Plumlee brothers starred at Duke, and now they are the first trio of brothers to play in the NBA since the Barry brothers (Jon, Brent and Drew) did so last in 2000.

Denver acquired the middle Plumlee brother midway through last season from Portland in exchange for Jusuf Nurkic and a first-round draft choice. Portland also sent Denver a second-round pick in that swap.

Mason Plumlee has always had good size (6-foot-11, 245 pounds) dating back to his time with the Blue Devils, but he’s never been able to replicate his college production in the NBA. Plumlee was a backup on Duke’s NCAA championship team in 2009-2010, but by his senior year, he was averaging 17.1 points per game and 9.9 rebounds per game.

The Brooklyn Nets selected Plumlee with the 22nd overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, but he only played there for two seasons. He then moved to Portland, and now onto Denver.

For the Nuggets, Plumlee should back up Nikola Jokic, who finished 2nd in the 2017 NBA Most Improved Player voting. Over his career, Plumlee averages 9.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

Brendan Marks: 704-358-5889, @brendanrmarks

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