The worst kept secrets are usually the truth. I scratched by bald head a few times when I heard the news that we had offered BJ Mullens a guarantee with our 16 pick. What about Hansbourgh? What about Blair? Weren't these guys better fits for us and fit that Paxson pedigree?
Mullens is a true center standing over 7 feet tall and tipping the scales at 258. He is said to be an elite athlete for a big man with a strong NBA body. He’s an explosive leaper with big hands and long arms. He runs the floor well and isn’t afraid to finish at the basket with either hand. He has a post game and a jump shot range of up to 15 feet. The knock on the kid is he is said to be very raw and has a limited basketball IQ. He lacks aggression and takes plays off. He needs to improve on his focus, defensive discipline and better rebounding.
What I take from the scouting report is a talented kid that just doesn’t get how good he can be and what it takes to reach his maximum potential. So why would we take that leap of faith at number 16? I think the positive out weights they negative, He definitely fits our need of a big man that can score and give us a presents offensively inside. He won’t need to play big minutes for us next season, splitting time with Noah and Miller. I also think that Noah and Miller can be a positive influence on him, challenging him in practice every day, helping him learn. I think by playing limited minutes the first year, he can contribute some points off the bench while we bring him along at a pace of maybe 10 to 15 minutes a game.
Hopefully by the trade deadline he is good enough to replace Miller, making Miller a valuable trade piece. If not we hope that by playoff time he’s ready to take Brad’s minutes and we don’t have to resign Miller next off season.
I think Hansbourgh will be gone by 16 and Blair’s knees plus my doubts on what shape he can keep himself in make Mullens a very safe pick.