Byron Mullens stood on the practice court at PCOM Saturday experiencing deja vu.
In the spring of 2009 he stood in nearly the same spot, facing many of the same members of the media, talking about his game and what he could bring to the Sixers.
Mullens had declared himself eligible for the NBA draft after playing one year at Ohio State University.
Mullens has since been traded three times, most recently a few days ago when the Clippers sent him to the Sixers in exchange for a future second-round pick.
Mullens comes from a team with a 37-20 record where playing time was hard for him to come by. He joins a team that is 15-41 and in need of big men who can play defense and rebound.
“It is going to be awesome,” Mullens said. “L.A. is a really a tough rotation to get into. All the players are great there. So I am looking forward to being a leader on this team.”
Mullens has played on winning teams with not just the Clippers this season, but also Oklahoma City for his first year and a half in the league. Then there were the last two years when he was a member of the Charlotte Bobcats, who like the Sixers, were rebuilding. They went 7-59 in the strike-shortened season and 21-61 a season ago.
“Everybody knows with a team like this it is rebuilding,” Mullens said. “Getting these young guys just out on the court and getting them the feel for the game. Take Charlotte the last two years and now look at them; they are in the playoff race. This team just got a lot of picks so it is going to be a bright future.”
Mullens speaks the truth about the Bobcats who, despite being 27-30, occupy the sixth seed in the East.
The 7-0 center averaged 9.3 points and 5.0 rebounds his first year in Charlotte. Those numbers increased last season to 10.6 and 6.4, respectively.