I’m going to go on record and say that I really liked Byron Mullens as a player two years ago when he was with Charlotte. I even had him on my fantasy team because he brought in the rare combination of 3-pointers and rebounds. But then he ended up in Los Angeles to play for the Clippers and dropped off a cliff, showing that maybe he only played so well because the Bobcats had no one else to play. He was pathetic for the Clippers and barely played at all, getting just 6.2 minutes per game. So why did the Sixers trade for him at the trade deadline this year? I really have no idea.
The strangest part was that they gave up a 2nd round pick for him. I don’t know in what world a 2nd round pick is worth a Byron Mullens, but maybe Sam Hinkie was throwing the Clippers a bone and taking a guy off their hands. A team that also ended up with Danny Granger after the Sixers cut ties with him. So maybe it was all part of the plan, and we were really just trading a 2nd round pick to make up for the fact that them taking Granger was worse than taking Mullens. Except it wasn’t, soooo…
Yeah, either way, Mullens actually played a lot better for the Sixers than he did with the Clippers. His shooting percentage was the highest it had been in his career, as well as his 3-point percentage. Sounds like a steal, right? Well, at just 13.7 minutes per game, which is what the Sixers gave him, percentages can be a bit deceiving. Mullens did have a few games where you’re just like “where the heck did this player come from?” such as when he dropped 15 points and 8 rebounds in 18 minutes against the Western Conference Champions. He actually had two other 15 point games, against the Thunder and the Pacers. Maybe he just plays better against good teams?
But he was so horribly inconsistent that it wasn’t even worth getting excited about. I criticized James Anderson for being inconsistent, but he wasn’t as bad as Mullens. One game he’d score 15, and the next game he’d play like 3 minutes and not score at all. Yes, part of that is that he barely played in some games, but there was a reason for that. It’s that he just downright isn’t a good player.
Mullens only had one year left on his contract and then has a player option for next season in which he’d make just over $1 million. If I were the Sixers, I’d pray until the end of time that Mullens doesn’t take the player option and decides to enter free agency instead. He is one of those players that will help your team once in a while, but more often than not, will hurt it. There’s no room for a player like that with such a risk on the Sixers roster, and that’s why he has to go.
Verdict: hope he declines the option and enters free agency