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Report: Clippers nearing two-year deal with free agent big man Byron Mullens

Jul 18, 2013, 12:04 AM EDT

Boston Celtics v Charlotte Bobcats Getty Images

The Clippers have had a strong offseason, shoring up plenty of areas on the roster with a variety of moves intended to push the team to the league’s top tier, or at the very least, further than the first round of the playoffs.

The one area that L.A. is still sorely lacking in is frontcourt depth, however, and the team’s most recently reported acquisition will likely only help in that regard as a technicality, at best.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

Free-agent center Byron Mullens is nearing an agreement on a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The proposed deal, which would include a player option for the 2014-15 season, is on course to be finalized late Wednesday or Thursday, sources said.

The thinking here is that the Clippers need another big body to replace the departed Ronny Turiaf, and one that will hopefully play better than the woefully ineffective Ryan Hollins. But Mullens has yet to prove capable of filling that role through his first four NBA seasons.

Mullens is that elusive “stretch four” that teams with a strong presence at the point guard position are clamoring for, but while he has no trouble taking outside shots or even launching plenty from three-point distance, they tend to go in at a very low percentage.

Last season with the Bobcats, Mullens shot 208 three-pointers, and connected on just 66 of them, good for a mark of 31.7 percent. He also shot 33.3 percent 10-15 feet from the basket, and 33 percent when he was 16-23 feet out. Most troubling, given these numbers, is the fact that 7.5 of his 10.6 field goal attempts per game came shooting jumpers from one of these spots on the floor.

Mullens isn’t known for his abilities on the defensive end either, but the Clippers needed size more than anything else at this point. Despite his known shortcomings, Mullens averaged 10.6 points and 6.4 rebounds in 26.9 minutes per game in Charlotte last season.

It’s clear right now that L.A.’s biggest challenge will be holding onto the leads built by the starters. Because once you get past Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, you’re looking at Hollins and now Mullens to come in off the bench and spell the guys who can actually play.

In other words, expect the Clippers to play a lot of small ball with the second unit next season.

  1. ji8888 - Jul 17, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Mullens is a softy. Fits with the clipper boats lol

  2. whereyaat - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    I think they signed Mullens – in part – to play the last two minutes of every game, with Blake Griffin.

    Deandre is fun to watch, but most of us commenters could shoot a higher FT percentage than his 42% with one month’s worth of practice. Mullens shoots 72%.

    Griffin plays so many minutes, he doesn’t need many spells. But when he does, it’d be more helpful to have a big on the floor who can shoot FTs (rather than two bigs who cannot shoot FTs).

  3. jimsjam33 - Jul 18, 2013 at 1:01 AM

    I don’t know . I was hoping for Tyler Hansborough , Greg Oden , or Drew Gooden . We don’t need a stretch four we need a banger who can rebound .

    • Sports King of this world - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:57 AM

      Tyler sounds pretty

  4. money2long - Jul 18, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    with that said, mullens still had some fantastic games this past season. for the clippers’ bench, this is a good pickup.

  5. danfrommv - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:02 AM

    Actually this seems like a good pick up to me. He has a pretty good stroke. Remember he played with the Bobcats last year. That can affect anyone’s productivity

  6. Sports King of this world - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:54 AM

    Who? Just do it already

  7. wfriedrichs - Jul 18, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    I’m cool with it. low risk stretch 4. We still have a couple of spots to fill so a I’m hopeful a guy like Gooden will be available. In Doc I trust.

  8. turdfurgerson68 - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Nice move by da Clippers. Doc’s sensibilities already taking root.

  9. mackcarrington - Jul 18, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    Why do you want your big men to shoot 3 pointers?

    • shaunodame - Jul 19, 2013 at 7:23 PM

      most of the time 3 pointers are worth more than 2 pointers, so that might have something to do with it

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