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Clippers Sign Byron Mullens

MONDAY, 5:26pm: The Clippers announced that the deal has been signed.

SATURDAY, 6:02pm: Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports that Mullens is expected to sign his contract on Monday or Tuesday next week (Twitter link). 

5:46pm: Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Clippers and Mullens have agreed to a two-year deal worth $2MM. The second year will be a player option. 

WEDNESDAY, 10:01pm: The deal would include a player option for 2014/15, and is on track to be finalized late tonight or on Thursday, Wojnarowski writes.

9:16pm: The Clippers and Byron Mullens are close to an agreement on a two-year deal, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Wasserman Media Group client became an unrestricted free agent when the Bobcats declined to tender a qualifying offer last month. The Lakers had interest in Mullens at the start of free agency, but may have moved on after adding Chris Kaman and re-signing Robert Sacre.

The Mullens signing would have to take place for the minimum salary, since the Clippers are over the cap and split their mid-level exception between Matt Barnes and Darren Collison. The Clips don't have their bi-annual exception, having used it to sign Grant Hill last summer. Bringing Mullens aboard may take the team out of the running for Antawn Jamison and Lamar Odom, two other big men who had been Clippers free agent targets.

Mullens is a 7'0" three-point gunner who could give the Clippers some floor spacing on offense if he continues to improve his touch. He's a career 30.1% shooter from behind the arc, and made 31.7% of his 3.9 three-point attempts per game this past season.

Byron Mullens To Sign With Chinese Team

Byron Mullens has reached an agreement to sign with the Shanxi Brave Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association, reveals a report from Sina.com (translation via Orazio Cauchi of Sportando). Mullens hit the free agent market in late June after turning down a minimum salary player option that would have kept him with the Sixers for the 2014/15 season.

After a lackluster start to his 2013/14 campaign with the Clippers, Mullens was shipped to Philadelphia and put up respectable numbers, albeit while seeing limited action. Mullens averaged 16.7 minutes per night over the course of 18 games, putting up nightly marks of 6.8 points and 3.3 boards.

The Wasserman Media Group client didn’t seem to draw much attention from NBA teams this offseason, as evidenced by the lack of activity found on his Hoops Rumors rumor page. It remains to be seen if there’s an NBA escape clause in the big man’s contract that could bring him back to the US should a stateside club show interest. The CBA’s regular season ends in February, so Mullens could still be a late season addition to a team if he indeed lacks an NBA-out in his deal. The length of the new pact hasn’t been disclosed.

Clippers Send Byron Mullens To Sixers

The 76ers announced that they have acquired center Byron Mullens and a 2018 second-round pick in exchange for a protected second-round pick in the 2014 draft.NBA: Charlotte Bobcats at Los Angeles Clippers

Philadelphia was discussing Chris Kaman with the Lakers shortly before the deadline, but it appears the Sixers opted to instead acquire a big man with skills similar to Spencer Hawes, whom they agreed to send to the Cavs earlier today.  

The Clippers have successfully pulled off two deals at the buzzer with Mullens and Jamison changing uniforms.  Mullens, who was once regarded as the top talent in the 2009 draft class, is headed to his to his fourth team in five years.  The big man has averaged just 2.5 PPG and 1.2 RPG in 6.2 minutes per game this season.  Even when he was seeing significant playing time with the Bobcats, Mullens never had a PER above 13.0.

Zach Links contributed to this post.  Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.  Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link) first reported that Mullens was on his way to the 76ers.  Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times added details (via Twitter).

Byron Mullens To Play For Heat’s D-League Team

THURSDAY, 11:35pm: Mullens has been acquired off of waivers by the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Heat’s D-League affiliate, Gino Pilato of D-League Digest reports (Twitter link)..

TUESDAY, 6:50pm: Veteran center Byron Mullens will join the NBA D-League, Gino Pilato of D-League Digest reports (Twitter link). Mullens will be subject to the D-League’s waiver process to determine which team he will play for. The 25-year-old had changed agents last month, and is now represented by Todd Ramasar of Stealth Sports.

The seven-footer had elected to turn down his minimum salary player option for the 2014/15 campaign to seek a more lucrative deal on the open market, but was unable to cash in this past offseason. Mullens’ last NBA action came during the 2013/14 campaign when he appeared in a combined 45 games for the Clippers and Sixers.

Mullens had played briefly in China this season before being waived by the Shanxi Brave Dragons. The big man is likely using the D-League as a springboard to make his return to the NBA. With the demand for floor-spacing centers around the league, Mullens should garner consideration for a 10-day contract if he provides teams with a strong showing once he hits the D-League hardwood.

In 189 career games over parts of five seasons, Mullens has averaged 7.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 0.8 assists. His career slash line is .408/.319/.706.

Byron Mullens Opts Out, Will Hit Free Agency

Sixers big man Byron Mullens has turned down his minimum salary player option for next season and will become a free agent, GM Sam Hinkie told reporters, including Tom Moore of Calkins Media (Twitter link). The Wasserman Media Group client would have made a guaranteed salary of more than $1.063MM had he remained under contract, but he’ll seek more on the open market.

The Clippers sent him to the Sixers for a second-round draft pick at the deadline to lower their tax bill and open up room for bench upgrades in L.A. Mullens failed to have an impact after signing with the Clippers last summer, averaging just 6.2 minutes per game for them this season. He saw 13.7 MPG for Philadelphia, averaging 6.8 points and 3.3 rebounds, but perhaps most noteworthy for him was his 40% three-point shooting over his 18-game stint with the Sixers. He’s just a 31.9% three-point shooter for his career.

Philadelphia is set to have ample cap flexibility, so Mullens’ decision will probably have no significant effect on Hinkie’s summer plans.

Western Notes: Grizzlies, D’Antoni, Mullens

A few notes from around the Western Conference.

December’s Expired Trade Exceptions

As we outline in our Hoops Rumors Glossary entry, traded player exceptions created in deals must be used within a year of being obtained. If they aren't used within that year, they simply expire. And that was the case for a few trade exceptions obtained last December, after the NBA lockout ended.

Listed below are the four trade exceptions that expired this month and are no longer in play. Only the Thunder's small TPE acquired in the Byron Mullens trade went completely unusued — the Clippers, Magic, and Jazz all acquired players with parts of their exceptions, including Utah absorbing Mo Williams' $8.5MM salary within the massive TPE the team acquired by sending Mehmet Okur to the Nets.

You can check out our complete list of the remaining trade exceptions around the league right here. Here are the TPEs that expired this month:

Orlando Magic
Obtained by trading: Brandon Bass (to Celtics)
Initial amount: $4,250,000
Used: $1,500,000 (Gustavo Ayon), $1,731,960 (Maurice Harkless)
Amount left: $1,018,040
Expired: 12/12/2012

Los Angeles Clippers
Obtained by trading: Al-Farouq Aminu (to Hornets)
Initial amount: $2,755,560
Used: $1,375,000 (Willie Green)
Amount left: $1,380,560
Expired: 12/14/2012

Oklahoma City Thunder
Obtained by trading: Byron Mullens (to Bobcats)
Amount: $1,288,200
Expired: 12/19/2012

Utah Jazz
Obtained by trading: Mehmet Okur (to Nets)

Initial amount: $10,890,000

Used: $8,500,000 (Mo Williams)
Amount left: $2,390,000

Expired: 12/22/2012

Clippers Considering Ivan Johnson

The Clippers are thinking about giving Ivan Johnson a 10-day deal and recently worked him out, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (via Twitter).  Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter) reported earlier today that the forward was a possible free agent for the Clips.

Johnson’s Chinese team, the Zhejiang Golden Bulls, waived Johnson in late January, allowing him to pursue NBA opportunities.  Johnson was averaging 26.0 points and 9.9 rebounds in China and picked up interest from multiple NBA clubs, including the Clippers and Knicks.

The Clippers shipped big men Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens to the Hawks and Sixers, respectively, and there is playing time to be had if Johnson comes to L.A.

Clippers Not Considering Camby?

Having just agreed to terms with big man Byron Mullens, sources say that the Clippers are not looking to sign free agent Marcus Camby (LA Times' Brad Turner via Twitter). The fact that DeAndre Jordan and Ryan Hollins are also on the team's depth chart  doesn't make it likely that Los Angeles would be looking to add another center at this point. Earlier this evening, we relayed a report that listed the Clippers as one of three teams considered to be the leading candidates to sign the 6'11 big man. 

Camby, who was bought out by the Raptors last week, averaged 1.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 10.4 MPG in just 24 games for the Knicks last season. Just a few days ago, we heard of the former UMass star's plans to play in the NBA for two more years before moving into coaching. 

Bobcats Pick Up Options On Walker, Biyombo

The Bobcats have officially exercised their third-year options on Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo, according to a team release.

Walker and Biyombo, both top-ten picks in 2011, will now make a guaranteed $2.57MM and $3.05MM respectively in 2013/14. The Bobcats will have an additional team option on each player for 2014/15, $3.27MM for Walker and $3.87MM for Biyombo, before both players become eligible for restricted free agency in the summer of 2015.

Walker's and Biyombo's were the only 2013/14 options on Charlotte's plate this summer, but that doesn't necessarily mean the team is done with its contract decision-making for the month. The Bobcats have until next Wednesday to potentially work out contract extensions for Gerald Henderson and/or Byron Mullens, though neither player is expected to be locked up.

NBA Grants Celtics 2013 Second-Round Pick

The NBA has granted the Celtics a 2013 second-round pick from the Thunder in a dispute over Jeff Green's medical condition, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). The Celtics filed a complaint with the league when Green missed the 2011/12 season due to a heart condition, less than a year after Boston acquired the forward from Oklahoma City (Twitter link).

Read more

Bobcats To Extend QO To Henderson, Not Mullens

5:46pm: The Bobcats have confirmed via press release that they're tendering a qualifying offer to Henderson.

12:31pm: The Bobcats will extend a qualifying offer to Gerald Henderson, making him a restricted free agent, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter). However, according to Bonnell, Byron Mullens won't receive a QO of his own from the Bobcats.

Both Henderson and Mullens met the starter criteria in Charlotte, meaning that their qualifying offers would have been worth $4,531,459 each. For Henderson, that's a modest increase on what would have been a $4,267,426 offer, but it represents a significant increase for Mullens, who otherwise would've been in line for a $3,293,976 QO. Perhaps that played a part in the Bobcats' decision, though Mullens' unproductive second half (7.2 PPG, 3.7 RPG in 20 games after the All-Star break) likely didn't help his case either.

When free agency opens next week, both Henderson and Mullens will be free to negotiate with any team, but only Mullens will be able to sign outright with a rival club. If Henderson signs a rival offer sheet, the Bobcats will have three days to match it.

Clippers Looking For Frontcourt Help

The Clippers are dangling Jared Dudley, Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens in search of a frontcourt upgrade, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Matt Barnes may also be on the block as well, Berger says. Marc Stein of ESPN.com first reported the Clippers were shopping Dudley a couple of weeks ago. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports last night tweeted overnight that the Clips were seeking backup bigs.

Jamison and Mullens were two players the team signed this past summer to serve as frontcourt reserves, but neither is having much impact. Both are on minimum-salary deals, though Jamison’s pact covers just this season while Mullens has a player option for next year.

Dudley is signed through 2015/16, making $4.25MM each year. His production is down after coming over from the Suns last summer via trade, and Doc Rivers recently yanked him from the starting lineup. Barnes is posting a career-worst 38.5% field goal percentage after inking a three-year deal for nearly $10.2MM in the offseason.

Odds & Ends: Draft, Walker, Mullens, Leonard

At halftime of the National Championship game, No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis went in to the locker room with no points to his credit.  However, Davis reminded all of us that you don't need to put up points to make a difference on the court.  The 6'10" big man pulled down nine boards, put up three blocks, and handed out four assists as Kentucky jumped out to a 41-27 lead in the first stanza.  The Wildcats saw it through to the end, capturing their first national title since 1998.  Here's a look at news from around the Association and items concerning the 2012 draft..

  • Chad Ford of ESPN.com is keeping track of who is in and who is out of the draft.  So far, only four draft prospects have officially announced that they'll be returning to school rather than jump to the pros.
  • Kemba Walker and center Byron Mullens are at the forefront of the Bobcats' youth movement, writes Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.  Mullens, acquired in a December deal with the Thunder, has become more comfortable in Charlotte in part because of Paul Silas' decision to play him as a "stretch-4" rather than a center.
  • Marc J. Spears of Yahoo (via Twitter) expects Illinois center Meyers Leonard to get top-20 attention in this year's draft.  As one scout noted, "There are not that many bigs. He's big and long."

Josh Harrellson To Play In China

Three-year NBA veteran Josh Harrellson has signed with China’s Chongqing Flying Dragons, according to Harrellson’s representatives at the Altius Culture agency (on Twitter). The terms are unclear, but most such deals are one-year arrangements that allow the player to return stateside in time to latch on with an NBA club for the stretch run of the regular season.

The 25-year-old didn’t seem to garner much interest in NBA circles this summer after the Pistons waived him in mid-July rather than guarantee his minimum salary for the season. The 6’10” Harrellson played sparingly for the Pistons this past season, averaging 2.9 points in 9.9 minutes per game, and while he set a career high with 38.7% accuracy from behind the three-point arc, he only attempted 31 treys all year.

The Flying Dragons are about to embark on their first season in the Chinese Basketball Association, the country’s top-flight league. Harrellson joins Andray Blatche, Jordan Crawford, Toney Douglas, Al Harrington and Byron Mullens among players migrating from the NBA to China this offseason.

Clippers Interested In Metta World Peace

Metta World Peace‘s buyout from the Knicks is expected to become official today, and the Clippers have interest in signing him as a free agent, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. Amick cautions that it’s not a “slam dunk” that the former Ron Artest will wind up back in L.A. The Clippers still have a pair of open roster spots after signing Glen Davis today to get back to the league-minimum 13 players.

The Clippers would be limited to offering World Peace the minimum salary. He’d help shore up depth along a front line that lost reserves Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens at the trade deadline. It would be a return to familiar territory for the 34-year-old, who spent the last four seasons in L.A. with the Lakers.

World Peace took to Twitter to reveal that he’s already put pen to paper on his buyout agreement with the Knicks, so assuming the team makes an announcement today, he’ll be set to clear waivers on Wednesday. It seems unlikely that any team will submit a waiver claim for the 15th-year veteran’s contract, which pays him $1.59MM this season and includes a player option for slightly more next season.

Recap Of Deadline Trades

Let’s get you caught up on all of the deadline deals that went down..

Antawn Jamison To Meet With Clippers

Free agent Antawn Jamison will have dinner Saturday night with Doc Rivers, who doubles as Clippers coach and head of the team's basketball ops, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. The Clippers are one of four teams reportedly interested in the 37-year-old. The Bobcats, Grizzlies and Bulls are the others.

The Clippers can only offer the minimum salary, and adding Jamison would put the club over the tax line, even if it waives the non-guaranteed contract of Maalik Wayns. Still, the Clips have been linked to Jamison on numerous occasions this summer, with one report indicating that the team would sign either Jamison or Lamar Odom.

Jamison would be a curious fit for the Clippers, since it would leave the team without a true center to back up DeAndre Jordan. Byron Mullens is a 7-footer, but he, like Jamison, relies on an outside game. The 6'8" Jamison shifted between small forward and power forward this past season for the Lakers, averaging 9.4 points in 21.5 minutes per game, both career lows.

Expired Trade Exceptions

There were a great deal of trade exceptions obtained in the days leading up to last season's February 24th trade deadline and with a full year gone by they have expired.  In certain trade scenarios, a team can acquire a traded player exception, which is worth a specific amount of money and can be used at any time over the next year.

For a more detailed refresher on how trade exceptions work, check out our glossary of salary cap exceptions and Larry Coon's CBA FAQ.  Here's a look at the exceptions that expired this week..

Feb. 22nd

Feb. 23rd

Feb. 24th

*Charlotte used roughly $1.28MM of this trade exception plus a 2013 second-round pick to acquire center Byron Mullens from the Thunder in December.

Clippers Notes: Jamison, Odom, Mullens

The Clippers reached an agreement to sign Antawn Jamison earlier this week, but most of you don't expect him to make a significant impact for the team this season. When Alex Lee of Hoops Rumors asked last night how many points per game Jamison would score in the 2013/14 season, over 62% of you predicted a single-digit average for the veteran forward.

Here's more on the Clippers:

  • Grantland's Kirk Goldberry examines what the signing of Jamison means for the Clippers.
  • After adding Jamison, the Clippers are no longer interested in re-signing Lamar Odom, a source tells Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. However, Medina adds that the team would "welcome Odom to training camp," so it may just be a matter of not wanting to guarantee him any money. Odom's alleged drug problems almost certainly played a part in that stance.
  • With 14 contracts on their books, the Clippers plan to fill the last roster spot in training camp, according to Medina. It's worth noting that once Jamison's deal becomes official, L.A. will have 13 players on guaranteed contracts. Maalik Wayns also has a non-guaranteed pact, and Brandon Davies reportedly agreed to a partially guaranteed deal earlier in the summer, though the team has yet to announce it. In any case, it seems that there could conceivably be two spots up for grabs in camp.
  • Byron Mullens knows that some fans and observers are wondering why the Clippers would sign him, but he tells Eric Patten of Clippers.com that he intends to prove his doubters wrong. Mullens inked a two-year, minimum-salary contract last month.
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