Roster Upgrades Arrive While Skyforce Take All-Star Break
In one day the Sioux Falls Skyforce accumulated a pile of talent. A rookie guard’s return and a big man with 5 NBA seasons bolster the roster.
On Saturday, the team announced two roster additions. One of them is Andre Dawkins who returns after serving two 10-day contracts with Boston. Byron Mullens is the other who most recently was plying his trade in China.
First we explain the boomerang. Dawkins was called up to the Celtics on January 23 but played with the affiliate Maine Red Claws. The prevailing thought was that the NBADL route was going to give Dawkins a better understanding of the top club’s system before fully implementing him at shooting guard. The highest irony came when Dawkins played his second game for Crustacean Nation against his old mates which turned out to be a Sioux Falls victory.
Over the 20 days, Dawkins did not play with the C’s and started 7 games for Maine. The raw numbers show a drop in productivity in almost every category. Most notably, Dawkins struggled from long range (a drop in 19 percentage points) with Maine compared to Sioux Falls plus his ability to get to the line also decreased compared to his Skyforce numbers. Boston declined to sign Dawkins for the duration of the season, so his rights reverted back to the ‘Force.
Mullens arrives with a little boost from Tyler Johnson. The rookie from Fresno State got two 10-day deals and Miami decided to keep Johnson long-term. When that happens, the NBADL rules state that teams catapult to the top of the list for prospects to replace the departed.
The 7-footer is a former first round pick of the Dallas Mavericks in 2009 after just one year of college ball at Ohio State. Dallas traded Mullens to Oklahoma City before the season and spent two years with the Thunder and on assignment with the Tulsa 66ers during that time. A trade to Charlotte gave Mullens increased stature and two really good seasons.
Charlotte declined to sign Mullens as a free agent in July 2013. However the Los Angeles Clippers were right there to offer him a deal. By February, Mullens was shipped to Philadelphia then released in July 2014. While in the Association, Mullens logged 189 games with 66 starts. A short stint in China brings the Mullens odyssey update to a close.
Both Mullens and Dawkins will be active for Sioux Falls’ next game against Delaware on February 20 at the Sanford Pentagon. The Skyforce return from the All-Star Break with a record of 18-13 while the Sevens are 12-19 and will host Westchester Tuesday February 17 before heading to Sioux Falls.