"Can Mullens repeat Charlotte success with Sixers?" ponders 76ers writer

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Don't count on it.

I don't think it's a stretch to say Byron Mullens had success in Charlotte.

He was a top-ranked high school prospect and after an underwhelming collegiate stint, he was drafted in the first round by the Dallas Mavericks and immediately traded to Oklahoma City. After receiving 4.2 minutes and 6.5 minutes per game in his first two seasons, respectively, he was dealt to Charlotte. Having little relevance on a playoff team, the Bobcats got him for peanuts and Mullens revitalized his career, capitalizing on a major uptick in minutes and field goal attempts.

But I think it's pretty clear Charlotte did not have success with Byron Mullens.

Mullens' playing time from his first two seasons combined increased more than tenfold to his first season with Charlotte. He played all but one game for them in the lockout-shortened season as the Bobcats won all but 59 of 66 games. Despite being a truly underwhelming center both defensively and on the glass, Mullens showcased a surprising shooting prowess, hitting almost 24 percent of his threes with a 0.425 field goal percentage. For the Bobcats that year, we supposed that was a decent start.

It was not.

Though this 76ers writer lauds Mullens' increases in scoring and rebounding per game, it's not like he improved his impact on the floor. Mullens' three-point shooting rocketed all the way up from 23.5 percent to 31.7, but he also managed to quadruple his number of three-point attempts while maintaining his shots per game, resulting in a worse efficiency than before.

That's right, in this era of trying to maximize the value of the three-pointer and spacing the floor, Byron Mullens decreased his offensive impact. He lessened his more efficient two point shots and free-throw opportunities. To his credit, he did improve his rebounding.

Anyway, the Bobcats were pretty unimpressed. They let him go without a qualifying offer and the Clippers signed him in the offseason before trading him to the 76ers.

And now this poor soul is pondering Byron Mullens' future with some very suspect statistics.

Yes, Mullens scored 11 points in a mere 9 minutes in the first half. He then scored two points in his 11 minutes of playing time in the second half.

The author goes on to draw a very thin connection between Byron Mullens and defending Al Jefferson during that game, saying, "While Jefferson finished with 29 points and 12 rebounds, both game highs, he only managed seven points in the second half."

This is true, but Mullens defended Jefferson for five minutes of Jefferson's 18 second-half minutes. And oddly enough, four of Jefferson's points in the second half came in those few minutes against Mullens. He had 12 points when Mullens was on the floor in the first half. All told, 16 of Jefferson's 29 points came against Mullens during Byron's 20 minutes.

I can give credit when credit is due. Mullens had a very good first half offensively and he has shot better this season, but his minutes have become so few and far between, I wouldn't be the brave soul to think it's worth relying on.

Further, the last time Byron Mullens played 10 minutes or more and the team he played for won was November 16.

That post may be worth a good laugh to many Bobcats fans, I'd imagine, but to the 76ers fans, I wouldn't get my hopes up.

Statistical thanks to: ESPN's box score, PopcornMachine.net, Basketball-reference.com

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