Seabears sign former NBA first-round draft pick Byron Mullens

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The Winnipeg Seabears have signed a former NBA first-round draft pick for next season.

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The Canadian Elite Basketball League team signed 7-foot-0 center Byron Mullens, who was drafted 24th overall by the Dallas Mavericks in 2009.

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Mullens, 35, spent five years wandering around the NBA.

Traded to Oklahoma State on draft day, he also played for Charlotte, the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia.

The Ohio State product averaged 7.4 points and 4.2 rebounds in 189 games, 118 of which came with Charlotte.

In Mullens’ best season, he averaged 10.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game for the Bobcats in 2012-13, including eight double-doubles.

Mullens played in Taiwan last season, averaging 18.1 points and 10.7 rebounds in 14 games.

He has also played in Turkey, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Spain, England and Greece.

“His career is well documented,” Seabears head coach and general manager Mike Taylor said in a statement announcing the signing. “Byron has accomplished so much in the game during his career and we are very excited to welcome him to Winnipeg. We believe Byron will love the Sea Bears and become a player our fans love to watch.”

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“The addition of Byron…a true veteran who has competed at the highest levels around the world is an important step for our young squad.”

Mullens is the third American foreign aid signed by the Seabears, the league-high.

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The team begins training camp on May 13 and kicks off the season in Saskatchewan on May 22.

“I’m looking forward to playing in front of the great Winnipeg fans that I’ve listened to so many times,” Mullens said in a statement. “We will do whatever it takes to bring a championship to the city.”

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