So that ended up being a fun little trade deadline, if you ask me. Nothing happened to shift the plate tectonics of the NBA, but there was a decent amount of movement (nine trades in all on the day). A couple of moves involved teams handing over second round picks in order to make burdensome contracts go away, and no team played the role of sanctuary better than the Sixers.
In exchange for their willingness to shepherd the outcast and downtrodden through the storm of the rest of their season, Philadelphia has been blessed with a divine gift. BYRON MULLENS TIME FOR EVERYONE!
The Los Angeles Clippers traded center Byron Mullens to the Philadelphia 76ers before Thursday’s trade deadline, sources confirmed to ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne.
I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t Byron Mullens not very good at professional basket-hooping?
And the answer is yes! He’s very not very good at it. But he’s tall, and he can shoot three-pointers. That doesn’t mean he can make a ton of them — he’s a career 30.5% shooter from deep — but he can really, really shoot them. In 167 minutes with the Clippers, he managed to jack up 39 triples, for a rate of 8.4 threes per 36 minutes. The best part, though? That was with the Clippers playing almost impossibly slow when Mullens was on the court. The Sixers, by contrast, play an average of almost 9 possessions more per 48 minutes. That’s an extra 6.75 possession per 36 minutes (WOOO MATH). And that, friends, is an additional 6.75 chances for Byron Mullens to shoot a three. Who cares if he probably won’t be overeager to play what most would term “passable” defense? For one, that’s a confusing term, as it conveys a sense of allowing your defender to “pass” you as a good thing. Secondly, defense is just going to get in the way of Mullens taking threes, and that is unacceptable.
Are the Sixers tanking by acquiring Byron Mullens? Maybe. But I like to think they’re trying to help a man achieve a dream. 10 threes per 36 minutes. The green light is there. The opportunity is there, with Spencer Hawes on his way to Cleveland. And Shammgod knows the will is there, manifested in the flesh and bone of Mullens.
Together, we can change the world, one Byron three at a time. Bless you, Philadelphia, and these gifts, which are you about to receive.
Statistical support courtesy of NBA.com/stats