BJ Mullens: 7-0, 260, C, Fr. (Ohio State University)
Draft rank: #37
C rank: #2
Has legit size to play the 5 at the next level. Gets up and down the floor very easily. Has good footwork inside. Doesn’t remain stagnant in the post as he constantly moves his feet. Does a good job of coming down with the ball and rising back up to put the ball off of the glass. Has a nice drop step that he uses to get to the rim when he is on the block. Has good leaping ability for a 7 footer. He does a very good job of following the ball whenever it gets swung around the perimeter and he always makes sure to put his hands out to create a target. Keeps the ball up high so that it can’t be stripped by smaller opponents. Doesn’t try to come outside of the paint and knows that he can do his best work when he is close to the basket. Is very quick with his decisions once he gets the ball in the paint. Has good form on his jump shot. Finishes strong with two hands. Has great tip in ability on the offensive boards. Takes high percentage shots.
Way too passive on the offensive end. Doesn’t do a good job of setting screens. Doesn’t establish himself and demand the ball in the low post. Has not shown he can play away from the hoop at all. Needs to get stronger. Needs to get tougher. Doesn’t dominate smaller players when they get switched over to him. Can’t put the ball on the floor. Needs to improve his free throw shooting. Doesn’t re-bound at a high enough rate. Doesn’t draw enough fouls. Turns the ball over too much in the paint. Doesn’t do a good job of backing his man down with his back to the basket to get closer to the hoop. Defensively he doesn’t fight for position and often struggles against smaller players. Often forgets to box out his opponents on the defensive boards. Relies heavily on dunks and layups for his offensive production. He has good form on his shot, but he doesn’t hit the mid-range jumper with any sort of consistency.
More than any other position I think it’s important for Centers to have confidence and be assertive. A passive center is not going to be able to do the things that you want your center to do. My biggest concern about Mullens and the reason I have him down here is because he seems to be content with being a decent player, which he was his Freshman year at OSU. With big men you always wonder if they are truly basketball players or if they are just playing because of their size. I have the same concerns when it comes to Mullens prospects of succeeding in the NBA.
Comparison: Johan Petro, 7-0, 260, C
You can tell that he has been taught how to play the game. Fundamentally he is very sound for a center. Mullens footwork and constant movement is a testament to the work that he has put in. He knows that his role is to be in or around the paint and he doesn’t waste time once he gets the ball. With all of that being said, he is still extremely raw as an offensive player and even more raw on the defensive end. He is a giant project that will need a lot more work before he is an effective big man in the NBA. But you can’t ignore his size and as the old saying goes, “7 footers don’t grow on trees”. So I am sure somebody will snatch him up in the 2nd half of the 1st round. I am however seriously concerned by his production in his one year at OSU and I am concerned that he is light years from being physically or mentally ready for the NBA
In my opinion Mullens has bust written all over him. Every year it seems like a big man gets drafted way before he should just because he has the size to play the center position. Sure, every once in a while a Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard or Shaq come along that you shouldn’t pass up on, but to stretch for a guy as raw as Mullens would probably be a similar mistake that almost every team has made throughout the years. Names like Sene, O’bryant, Kwame, Araujo, Tskitivishli, Diop, Mihm, Borchardt, Petro, Swift, and Podkolzine probably ring a bell with your favorite team. I could probably throw 15 other names that can help you out if none of those names applied to yours. I mean, it’s like a guys 7 foot tall, can get up and down the floor and get above the rim and automatically he’s a first round pick.
There’s no doubt that Mullens has potential due to his size, but I think he is very far away from being able to contribute in the NBA. I would rather take my chances with a wing or an athletic freak who needs to work on his shooting. I would rather take my chances with a point guard who may be a little undersized or a big man who has shown the willingness to work despite that he may have tapped out at 6-8. As for Mullens, well I am not buying.