Byron Mullens could have a fun fifth season in the NBA next year if the Charlotte Bobcats could get some extra help inside to take the pressure off him and, at the same time, make him a better ballplayer.
He’s not a big name outside of Charlotte but Mullens has carried a lot of weight on the Bobcat roster since he came to the franchise two seasons ago.
The 7-foot, 275-pound Mullens has handled himself very well the past two seasons for the Bobcats. Last season, he averaged 10.6 points 6.40 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. His first two seasons in the league at Oklahoma City Thunder, he averaged less than seven minutes and less than two points a game while seeing appearances in only 13 games each of the two seasons.
Then he came to Charlotte and Mullens has been a blessing for the Bobcats. Last season, he saw action in 65 games and started 25 and showed what he could do with 22.5 minutes, 9.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game while shooting 22.5 percent from the floor and a fabulous 82.1 percent from the free-throw line.
Mullens’ free-throw shooting, unfortunately, resembled more of a big man this season at 64.6 percent. But he had started 41 of the 53 games in which he appeared and averaged 26.0 minutes, 10.6 points and 6.4 rebounds a game.
The Bobcats should make Mullens a key factor for the 2013-14 season. But they also need to find another solid player at that position. A team that had the second worst record in the NBA needs all the help it can muster if it’s to become a playoff contender.