Mason Plumlee returning to Denver Nuggets on 3-year deal

DENVER (AP) — Mason Plumlee lived out of a hotel last season after being acquired in a February trade and didn’t get a chance to venture out much in Denver.

He hopes to change all that – even mingle more with the fans – after the restricted free agent center agreed Monday to return to the Nuggets on a three-year, $41 million deal, which was first reported by ESPN. His agent, Mark Bartelstein, confirmed the deal to The Associated Press.

On his Twitter account, Plumlee posted a clip from the cartoon series “South Park” of the characters tossing around a basketball along with the words “Let’s Go. ” He also wrote a letter to Nuggets fans on his website.

“We met briefly last year, but I never had the chance to give you a firm handshake, look you in the eye and formally introduce myself,” Plumlee said in the letter. “I apologize for that. It’s not how my parents raised me. But the truth is I didn’t even have time to unpack my bags. For three months I lived in a hotel, and half that time was spent in hotels on the road. (No complaints, these were very nice hotels – but hotels aren’t home). Then the season ended and I entered the contractual purgatory known as restricted free agency (more on that another time).”

Plumlee went on to list a few of the things the Nuggets faithful should know about him. First, he’s “thrilled” to be back with a team that’s opened its wallet this offseason after improving by seven games last season, only to still miss the playoffs for a fourth straight year. Denver also signed four-time All-Star Paul Millsap to a three-year deal worth about $90 million.

“I am grateful that we got a deal done and excited for the challenge of the season to come,” Plumlee wrote.

Next, Plumlee noted that he doesn’t like losing. Denver lost out on the eighth and final playoff spot to Portland last season.

“Last year was the first time in my entire organized basketball career (going all the way back to my fourth grade town league in Indiana) that my team wasn’t playing in the postseason,” he wrote. “I never want to experience that again.”

Also, he wants to explore the Mile High City. Got a recommendation? He wants to hear it, even giving out his “superphone” number so anyone can text “fun ideas.”

“I want to hear your recommendations,” Plumlee wrote. “I want to know what makes Denver great and why everyone keeps moving here.”

Plumlee, 27, will join a crowded front court this season for the Nuggets, who acquired forward Trey Lyles as part of a draft-night deal with Utah. The team already has rising standout Nikola Jokic, along with Wilson Chandler, Darrell Arthur, Kenneth Faried and Juan Hernangomez.

The signing of Millsap and return of Plumlee helps the Nuggets remain in the playoff conversation in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.

Plumlee averaged 9.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists after being acquired in the deal that sent Jusuf Nurkic to the Blazers. Plumlee fit in seamlessly with Jokic, who has become the face of the franchise.

The 6-foot-11 Plumlee envisions grand things for Denver this season, closing his letter by saying: “October 18 is just around the corner and we’ve got some big things to play for this year.”