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January 03, 2012

Mullens' quick return on Bobcats trade

Fascinating little statistic on Byron Mullens, courtesy of the Charlotte Bobcats' media-relations department:

Mullens scored nearly as many points in his first four games as a Bobcat as he did his previous two NBA seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder (34, versus 39 in OKC).

Mullens shot 52 percent in his first four games with the Bobcats, versus 34 percent with the Thunder. What this illustrates is the NBA is all about timing and opportunity.

Mullens was extraneous with the Thunder. He said his coaches there wanted him to play more like a classic low-post center, and that's not what got Mullens to the NBA. He's a high-post pick-and-pop guy whose NBA talent is a 20-foot jump shot.

Bobcats coach Paul Silas didn't particularly care what Mullens did offensively, so long as he produced. And he has, with a career-high 12-point scoring game.

Silas likes the possibilities down the road, pairing Mullens' high-post game with rookie power forward Bismack Biyombo. Biyombo might never be a big-tme scorer, but he can impact a game with rebounds and blocked shots. Their talent profiles complement each other.

Mullens still has a long way to go, particularly focusing on blocking out and rebounding. But based on the early scoring, that's a great return on sending a future second-round pick to the Thunder 

Posted by Observer Sports on January 3, 2012 at 03:26 PM | Permalink


Rick, I must admit I was skeptical of this trade but it seems to be working out.
What is your thought on keeping Derek Brown over Cunningham so far. Brown looks lost or out of place at times to me.

Posted by: rdg99 | Jan 3, 2012 3:47:08 PM

I like Mullens, but he and Bismack are destined to be good role players off the bench on a GOOD team. Unfortunately Biyombo is another reach by our front office; a quality athlete (better than Ajinca) but with limited skills for the PF spot. If he was big enough to play center (he is not) it's a different story. Today's NBA 4's need to be able to score, shoot, defend and rebound. Bismack can only block shots and foul in his early days, which is understandable. What we cannot expect is for him to magically aquire the offensive game needed by starters in this league.

Posted by: Bassman | Jan 3, 2012 4:36:18 PM

So quick to throw Mullens and Biyombo under the bus. Come on Bassman....how would you know if Biyombo or Mullens can ONLY cut it on the bench? You can't say he's a reach at this point when I don't see any rookie this season proving their worth. Besides, at the moment and with PT, you'd have to say that Kemba is in the running for ROY, and based on his 48PPM, you'd have to say he is the clear cut winning right now in the rookie race.

Biyombo has showed promise, and each and every game, he has gotten better. I didn't expect him to have a hook move, but he seems to have that in his ability to score. If he can develop an 8-10' range jumper to his game, the sky's the limit for the kid (oh, and of course, free throw shooting). The kid reminds me alot of Okafor but with A LOT more energy and effort. If he can be that type of player, then I'd say he is a good pick. Give the guy time, and I think he'll prove you wrong.

Posted by: KYL | Jan 3, 2012 5:08:08 PM

If I remember correctly the Thunder paid some cash in the deal. Do you know if it was the maximum allowed (meaning they are really paying Mullens' entire salary for the two years) or something less?

Posted by: The Icelandic Bobcats Fan | Jan 3, 2012 6:05:11 PM

Mullens looks like a young Dirk to me... With more minutes he would be a 20 point per game guy and with some work he could learn more moves and how to better rebound which Dirk had to do... I would start Mullens and Diaw at 4 and 5. Bring in White, Thomas and Biyombo off the bench for this year with an eye toward moving Biyombo to the starting 5 next year. Thomas just can't stay healthy otherwise he would be our starting 4 - but maybe Mullens ends up being better anyway...

Posted by: Dirt | Jan 3, 2012 6:17:33 PM

all i want to remind the doubters of biyombo is......he is supposedly 19. i have faith to believe that is accurate at this point because it was his posted D.O.B. professionally in spain and now he went through the draft process. at the very least it is CLOSE to accurate.


^^^^ dwight howards rookie year. I think howard is the most accurate comparison of what this kid COULD be. (not what he IS, but COULD)

he might fall short and end up luc mbah a moute but i doubt it. the kid has a motor that's actually higher than howards. howard will be bigger and probably have the better overall physique but seeing the 2 matchup one on one the other night.....he looked just like howard did when he was 18.

we just have to find the minutes for biyombo to really develop. not necessarily this year entirely but absolutely next year.

as for mullens....he's doing what ajinca would have done. he's the perfect replacement for ajinca. ajinca would have done WAY more defensively in the way of blocking shots and rebounding but mullens will come around there. he's more consistent with the jumper. but more or less, same guy, same type of role.

we really need to move on from the maggette thing so these young'ns don't miss out on minutes. play boris and tyrus at the 3 and get mullens and biyombo on the floor more. they aren't struggling to score as much as we might have expected. maggette is struggling worse.

Posted by: charlottean | Jan 3, 2012 7:10:40 PM

just finished watching the Bobcats Cavs debacle and it was painful. Cats just don't do much to give the fans any reason to jump on board.


DJ White does deserve playing time but not at the expense of Tyrus Thomas. White should take minutes from Maggette or Diaw.

Was afraid that other teams comments about Maggette might be true and to this point they are. While he says all the right things and gets to the free throw line, the ball never comes out when he gets it. So there's no movement of the ball which makes the offense predictable. He plays no defense and has to jack up twice the shots to get the points.

Diaw has had one decent game and the rest awful. Yes he plays out of position but he's been careless with the ball and slow getting back on the defensive end. Not worth the money being paid and you would think a contract year would motivate him. You can have all the versatility and skills in the world but if you don't bring them every night what good are they.

Neither point guard either can't run the pick and roll or just don't want to. I've seen countless screens and rolls with the point guard dribbling away and either forcing a poorer shot selection.

One word for Gana Diop: Amnesty.

Biyombo is raw but shows some potential. Cats must give him some playing time or send him to the D league for experience.

Mullens may turn out to be the best move per dollar in team history besides DJ White. He makes defensive mistakes but at least provides offense and looks like he is trying harder to rebound.

Henderson has the potential to be great but needs to take fewer jump shots and get to the free throw line.

Paul Silas as much as he is liked by players and fans shows some of the same tendencies as he did when he coached the Hornets. He doesn't appear to be much of an X and O coach or have a sense of managing player minutes. He stays far too long with players struggling and doesn't seem to be able to change the game momentum with set plays.

If the management is going to blow games off this year for a high draft pick, then they should at least admit it and begin developing the young players by giving them court time. the fans would much rather watch the younger players develop than indifferent veterans on the tailend of a career or contract.

they should consider a starting lineup of Augustine or Walker along with Henderson, White, Thomas, and Mullens. more side to side ball movement and less one on one nonsense.

front office should work like crazy to move the contracts of Diop, Diaw, Nehara, Carrol or Maggette even if for second round picks or young talent buried on other team's benchs.

Posted by: fan | Jan 3, 2012 9:49:28 PM

^^^ not sure if you missed the other 4 games but diaw actually has 2 GREAT games and 1 solid game to go with 2 duds. tonight was foul trouble. that's going to happen to somebody when you play small. even against cleveland.

dude had 16 points, 16 boards and 8 assists in his "one good game" yet he had 9 points 9 assists and 11 boards against milwaukee and 10 points 6 assists and 6 boards against orlando. his turnovers are up but that will come down over time.

regarding the pick and roll.....augustin has run it very well at times with diaw, white and mullens. walker must not prefer it although he and mullens had a nice little 2 man inside out game going at one point in the 3rd (i believe).

no need to amnesty diop (and you can't until next offseason) because you have to pay him next year anyways. he has more value to the team than maggette and maggette's salary is bigger so if we were to do it.....i'd rather it be maggette. diop is a 7 footer. as horrible as he is, he's less replaceable.

maggette is a black hole on offense. i hate watching that guy play. he plays like an a-hole.

biyombo played 21 minutes tonight...and looked pretty good. once he gets comfortable dunking on everybody and blocking shots without fouling he can really be something. ben wallace was a poor comp. for him. dude is far more athletic and coordinated with the ball than wallace ever is/was.

this nba officiating is a joke. i know they changed the rule regarding fouls on pump fakes and what not but I REALLY REALLY REALLY don't think that's what they meant when DJ pump fakes and then shoots and gets hacked because the dude is coming down in the air. it's supposed to limit guys from pump faking and jumping INTO guys unnaturally, NOT rewarding guys for falling for pump fakes. ridiculous. they have such a great league if the officiating was better. they don't know the difference between a block and a charge and miss atleast 2 goaltends a game.

Posted by: charlottean | Jan 3, 2012 10:35:32 PM

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