The Los Angeles Clippers came into the 2013 offseason with more then a few gaps to fill. After the signing of former Charlotte Bobcats 7-footer Byron Mullens, those gaps are now few are far between. The Clippers improved their depth considerably at the guard position this offseason, but the lack of depth in the post has been a concern within the organization until now. Before the acquisition of Mullens, the Clippers had 3 bigs under contract (the third being Ryan Hollins who is not exactly the ideal big man off the bench).
Not only did the Clippers add a third 7-footer in Mullens, but they also brought in one with the ability to stretch the floor and shoot the three ball. Doc Rivers’ Celtics saw this on full display last season when Mullens dropped 25 points including 4 of 5 shooting from behind the arc. Mullens gives the Clippers the option of spreading the floor of the bench, allowing themselves to have multiple 7 footers on the floor at the same time. Mullens’ ability to shoot from the outside provides the Clippers with yet another shooter off of the bench as Mullens joins the ranks of Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, and Reggie Bullock.
The Clippers got Mullens at a very reasonable price: two years, $2 million. The contract includes a team option the second year. Comparing to deals for other players this offseason, such as Zaza Pachulia (3 years, $16 million), this is a steal for LA. Pachulia averaged 5.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game opposed to Mullens’ 10.6 points per game and 6.4 rebounds. The Clippers add a much needed quality piece off the bench while keeping frugal owner Donald Sterling pleased in the process.
Mullens is the fifth pick-up by the Clippers this offseason. Along with that, Mullens is the tenth player below the age of 30 currently on the roster, demonstrating the Clippers desire for the creation of a young core that can make multiple runs at an NBA title.