On February 20th, the 76ers sent a future second-round pick to the Los Angeles Clippers for center Bryon Mullens. He is a 7-foot center in his fifth year in the NBA after being drafted at the end of the first-round by Dallas in 2009. He is averaging 7.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game for his career.
The Ohio native has played solid ball for the 76ers since he was acquired a month and a half ago. He didn’t see much time in LA playing behind the likes of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. But now that he is with the Philly, the floor has been a bit more open. He’s provided spacing and hit some nice shots.
Mullens has been averaging 6.3 points a game since coming over from LA, including four games which he dropped double figures. These four games were against some of the leagues best:
3/4 @ OKC: 15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 20 minutes
3/14 vs IND: 15 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 24 minutes
3/19 vs CHI: 12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 15 minutes
3/24 @ SA: 15 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal, 18 minutes
In limited action against tough competition, Mullens has played well and has started to show some signs of why he was a first round selection five years prior.
Byron Mullens, like many of his teammates, is auditioning for a role to be apart the “blueprint” for the future. During this time he has showed glimpses of a player who could be a tremendous reserve center and decent starter if injuries arise. But don’t get this confused, he isn’t any competing teams starting center of the future.
For as many good games as Mullens has put together for Brett Brown and company, he also had this kind of stat line while playing against ORLANDO:
Seven points (3-of-11 FG), three rebounds, 17 minutes.
So the man has been good. Not great.
Stay or Go: Stay
Mullens is probably a lock more so than most based off the fact the Sixers actually gave up something to get him. It wasn’t much but it was one of the few moments the Sixers actually took on more than they were giving up. That speaks to the plan Hinkie has, and he seems to fit a need when it comes to developing this bench.
I’d like to see him back next year. Every team needs a half decent big man to come off the bench and help their team out. Sadly in this new NBA, true centers are so far and few between, on a lesser team he would probably be a starter, like he was with the Bobcats before he went to LAC. Thankfully he isn’t Spencer Hawes 2.0 and Philly knows to keep him firmly on the pine. Enjoy your time in the Cradle of Freedom, Mullens.