Guess what, Philadelphia? Andrew Bynum is probably not going to play for the rest of the year. The ongoing delays and injuries for our prize Center is going to set back his first start until October of 2013. Maybe, ever.
Call me pessimistic, but I’ve seen this one before. A lot of the media is discussing the Bynum bowling injury (sorry for having Stephen A. Smith open this video clip with his annoying voice and definition of rhetorical), but this is just a prelude to the real story when the Sixers are forced to announced that he will be sidelined for the season. If a man can’t even bowl healthy, there’s no way he’s playing basketball.
Is this another Greg Oden situation? It’s sincerely starting to look that way. The only guy who is still hopeful about Bynum starting this season is Skip Bayless. So… there’s that.
Maybe we were all a little naive about picking up Bynum. Andrew had plenty of criticism in Los Angeles for his lackluster play. Fans were weary of his injury riddled seasons, his jersey-removing tantrums, and under achieving play. Why weren’t we? Did the Sixers capitalize on some ticket sales by making this move and delaying the announcements regarding his progress?
So, where does that leave us, Sixers fans? Well, we are currently 6-4. We allow the 3rd-lowest points per game in the league (90.1). We also average 88.9 points per game, making us 28th in the league. It really just seems like we slow teams down.
Roster wise, however, I feel like most additions have been an upgrade.
Nick Young from Lou Williams – upgrade.
Jason Richardson from Jodie Meeks – upgrade.
Thaddeus Young from Elton Brand – not a huge upgrade, but salary wise, incredible.
Dorrell Wright from Thaddeus Young – upgrade.
Kwame Brown – downgrade. No matter what.
Lavoy Allen is making progress and looks much more comfortable. Combined with Spencer Hawes, we still have a weak inside with some decent offensive production. But here comes the real question –
We dumped Brand and Iguodala because of their salaries. In retrospect, with Iguodala and Bynum’s salaries only 2 million dollars apart (18mil to 16mil), how bad does this deal look now? Well, you could make an argument for both sides, but I’m making the argument against it. I sincerely doubt that the Sixers management knew how bad Bynum’s knees were at the time this deal was made, so it made total sense to pull the trigger, but I doubt that we would do the same thing knowing what we know now.
Iguodala gave us a, ahem… superstar veteran presence that everyone on the roster is lacking right now. Laugh at that all you will, but the man has 2 Olympic gold medals, Reebok commercials, and has mingled with every elite player in the NBA, often. Dumping Brand’s contract cleared more space than Iguodala, and now we’re paying a guy who can’t even play instead of over-paying the best player on our team.
Jrue Holiday is doing an fantastic job of filling the starting guard position, but he’s still an absolute rookie in regards to presence. Evan Turner has almost regressed this season so far. Our team is very young, and the few veterans we have are Royal Ivey, Kwame Brown, and Jason Richardson.
Andrew Bynum really was supposed to be that guy. Our team’s dynamic looks completely different now without having an incredible center looming over the East. Bynum’s future looks iffy at best… and I sure hope I’m wrong on this one.