The Thunder announced Monday that center Byron Mullens along with cash considerations have been dealt to Charlotte for a future 2013 second-round pick.
“While we believe that Byron will be a productive player in this league, it became apparent that in the near future it would be difficult for him to continue his development and have the opportunity to make a significant impact on our club because of the current make-up of our roster,” Sam Presti said in a release. “This trade allows us the opportunity to create both future financial and roster flexibility while providing us with an additional draft pick in 2013.”
Mullens appeared in just 26 games during two seasons with the Thunder and averaged 1.5 and 1.3 rebounds. He really spent most of his time traveling between Tulsa and Oklahoma City as he was sent down to the D-League quite a bit.
Mullens was acquired on draft night for the rights to Roddy Beaubois. As you can see, the Mullens experiment is one of the very few blemishes on Sam Presti’s otherwise stellar resume.
This isn’t so much about the second-round pick as it is about the roster spot and little bit of cap space created. With Nate Robinson’s future buyout coming, this puts the Thunder at 14 (assuming the camp invites are waived). Presti loves to have an open spot and with a few players still lingering out in the open market, it gives the Thunder a chance to make a move on someone if they so desire.
Mullens never really had much of a future in OKC. He never quite developed and with such a logjam at center and power forward, he wasn’t going to get an opportunity. So instead of just having dead weight, Presti cut his losses and moved on. It was the right move for sure for both the Thunder, and Mullens.