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Byron Mullens surprises 76ers, declines 2014-15 player option

Howard Smith / USA Today Sports

Byron Mullens was supposed to provide some shooting deep into the frontcourt rotation for the Los Angeles Clippers this season. He played in 27 games, hit just 13 threes and shot 40.6 percent from the floor before getting dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers.

With Philly, he appeared in 18 games, performing a little better with 6.8 points a game while hitting 40 percent of his threes. Despite that modest improvement, most thought Mullens was a lock to pick up his $1.06 million player option for the 2014-15 season.

While that figure represents the league minimum for a player with Mullens' service time (five seasons), it's also fully guaranteed.

On Friday, he informed the Sixers he was declining the option, making him an unrestricted free agent.

While it's certainly possible a team takes a shot on Mullens - he is a 7-footer with range, after all - there's also a non-zero chance he can't secure a guaranteed contract for the season. Considering he's now 25 years old and has never posted a league-average offensive efficiency (and he can't defend), Mullens declining the option means he's taking a serious risk, unless he can impress a team this summer or he has a deal worked out overseas.

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