Byron Mullens was one of the free agent signings made by the Clippers this offseason that was an attempt to hopefully boost their frontcourt depth.
Once you get past Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan in the starting lineup, things begin to deteriorate rather quickly, with Mullens and Ryan Hollins the next bigs in off the bench — and that’s it.
The selling point with Mullens is that he’d be a stretch player, capable of hitting mid- to long-range outside shots, thus helping to space the offense. That hasn’t been the case yet in his career as we’ve detailed previously, so he’s hoping his play will change some opinions in this upcoming season.
“There are still a lot of doubters and a lot of people kind of saying, ‘Why did the Clippers do this?’ but I hope to prove people wrong. I’m not going to let anybody down on the team,” Mullens said. “I have a lot of stuff to do this year and I’m going to have a lot better shot selection this year, playing a better role on a better team.”
One of the primary things Mullens will be asked to do for the Clippers is space the floor from the center and power forward position. He made 66 3-pointers last season after attempting just 51 in his first three seasons combined.
“[Head Coach Doc Rivers] just said, ‘We want you to come in and spread the floor,’” Mullens said. “But there’s also going to be some other things that I’m going to have to do like rebounding, and stuff like that, of course.”
Those “other things” are what Mullens will need to contribute next season, unless his shooting percentages take a somewhat miraculous turn for the positive.
As we’ve pointed out, Mullens shot 208 three-pointers last season, 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.
Proving people wrong will entail Mullens improving monumentally on these numbers.