The first tumble-down effect of the Charlotte Bobcats drafting forward Cody Zeller came to light Friday, when president of basketball operations Rod Higgins told the Observer the team will not extend a qualifying offer to Byron Mullens, restricting his free-agency.
According to Higgins, the Bobcats would have had to block out about $4 million for Mullens next season to reserve the right to match other teams’ offers for him. With Zeller having similar “stretch 4’’ qualities at power forward – i.e. shooting range out to the 3-point line -- the team decided not to make that investment in Mullens, who averaged 10.6 points and 6.4 rebounds last season.
Mullens, acquired in a 2011 trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, had a strong early season last year before suffering a severe ankle sprain in late December. He missed about a month, then never quite regained his form.
The Bobcats will make a qualifying offer to shooting guard Gerald Henderson, Higgins said.
The bold print is why he was not presented with a qualifying offer