Byron Mullens is, admittedly,
a little salty about the term “rebuilding.”
The fifth-year big man was
around for two seasons of Charlotte’s transformation: a 7-59 lockout-shortened
campaign in 2011-12, and a 21-61 record in 2012-13. Then the Bobcats opted
against picking up Mullens’ option for this season. (He later signed with the
Los Angeles Clippers, who traded him to the 76ers at the deadline.)
Now, as Mullens wrapped up a
19-win season with the Sixers, he was left to watch his former team in
Charlotte qualify for the playoffs as the seventh seed in the Eastern
Conference, with a 43-39 record. And Mullens said he’d prefer not to repeat
“It sucked to be in Charlotte.
It sucked to be in a rebuilding process,” Mullens said Thursday, when the
Sixers conducted end-of-the-year exit interviews at their PCOM practice
facility. “What sucked worse was to be in the rebuilding process and not be in
the process now that they’re in, in a playoff race and in the playoffs. I’d
say, if I’m going to give it my all in the rebuilding process, I’d like to be
in it all the way – even after the rebuilding process is over. We’ll see what
When asked whether he’d like
to return for next season, Mullens would not say. He holds a $1.06 million
player option, though he could opt out and test free agency.
“We definitely talked about
it, and we talked about the options we have with how many draft picks we’ve got
in the draft and all of that,” Mullens said, of a discussion he had with Sixers
general manager Sam Hinkie. “I’d just like to keep that between me and him, and
see what happens. Obviously, everybody knows they have a lot of draft picks.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens.
“It’s tough. Me and Sam talked
about (rebuilding), as well. My two years in Charlotte, they had a pretty young team.
Obviously it was a rebuilding kind of like we have here now. People just have
to be patient. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a while for young guys.
You’re looking at 19-year-old kids playing with grown men. It’s tough. You have
to respect it and be patient.”
Two numbers that might work against Mullens moving forward: The Sixers went 0-18 in games in which he played, and 4-4 in games in which he did not appear.
Labels: Byron Mullens, Charlotte Bobcats, free agency, offseason, rebuild, Sam Hinkie