In August, We Splashed Cold Water on Your Bynum Boner

Back in August, CB contributor Matt Hammond warned of the perils of Bynum. This is that post in its entirety. Maybe I should pay this guy.

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One year.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with thoughts of commitment here. While conventional wisdom tells you that an extension is the best-case scenario for the guy many are already touting as the savior to Philadelphia basketball, Andrew Bynum, acquired last night in a reported four-team deal centered on Dwight Howard-to-the Lakers and sending Andre Iguodala to Denver, this may amount to little more than a Sixers tryout for Bynum.

One year. That’s all that’s left on his contract, the $16 million team option the Lakers triggered this past spring. After that? He can walk as a free agent.

And, between Bynum’s character concerns and creaky knees, the Sixers might be wise to let that be the case.

They already made good on this opportunity. They already hedged against the possibility that Iguodala would’ve opted out of his contract (player option for 2013-14) and gotten nothing for it. They already filled the core of their defense-first outfit with a guy who averaged 11 boards and 3 blocks per game in last year’s mess postseason. They already cleared the way for 2012 first rounder Arnett Moultrie (Moe Harkless got dealt to Orlando) to get solid minutes early on.

And with Bynum anchoring the Sixers defense, this team has Eastern Conference Finals potential. With Jason Richardson, who’s a helluva lot more than a throw-in, maybe more.

That part of it’s done.

Now comes time for patience, self-control, longview. They have to see how this thing works before making it permanent.

Does Bynum trash team chemistry?

Can he stay healthy?

How’s his attitude? Does it effect his play, or anything else?

What they can’t do? Make a knee-jerk push for an extension now.

The sweetest part of the Bynum deal is his attraction potential, whether he can make Philadelphia a destination for free agents and be the centerpiece of (gasp!) a Sixers duo, or trio.

But that’s not who he is right now, not how he’s regarded across the league. He’s sooner associated with giving Playboy bunnies piggyback rides in a playoffs the Lakers desperately needed him, for clotheslining J.J. Barea in Phil Jackson’s career finale, for airing out apparent “trust issues” this time around.

Those aren’t a few bad moments. They’re a track record, and make Bynum radioactive.

But they can change, and change this season.

That said, while a change of scenery might work wonders on his attitude, it can’t do anything about that knee. To change those appearances, not only does Bynum have to stay on the floor for the vast majority of the Sixers games this season (anything less than 70 is unacceptable), but he has to prove himself a vigilant rehabber.

If not, the Sixers can’t extend him. If you thought Elton Brand was bad, imagine the mushroom cloud in the making here.

One year. That’s all.

Just one year. For now.

Follow Matt Hammond on Twitter (@MattHammondTIP) or on his blog, ThoughtsInPassing.com.

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29 Responses

  1. And worse case scenario you have multitudes of cash to spend next offseason. This is a huge win for Sixers making this move and – more importantly – getting out from under the Iggy conract. Win. Win.

  2. I think Doug Collins will be able to handle him much better than Mike Brown, and even, dare I say it, the Zen Master himself who was rightfully exhausted towards the end. Either way great move for the Sixers; going in the right direction no matter what.

  3. I get that he’s a risk. But let me ask you this – who else are you signing after this upcoming year that has more upside than Bynum? Nobody.

  4. If they don’t end up extending his contract this is a bad deal for the Sixers.. giving up Iggy and three 1st round picks is a lot to only have Bynum for a year

  5. Bad headline Kyle, everyone saying WIN WIN is absolutely correct, people saying it’s a bad move are nuts. You hit the head on the nail when you said one year tryout though, even around mid season you’ll be able to see what you got with Bynum and make an extension offer then. They just got rid of the worst contract that put the Sixers franchise back 5 years in getting rid of Iggy….And like other people are saying, worst case scenario you attack the incredible 2013 FREE AGENT class with more salary cap room then about 27-28 teams in the league, hats off to the new owners heading in the right direction

  6. He is the epitome of what philadelphians hate, we’ll be calling for his head half way through the season, hes spencer hawes but better offensively but less mature, just what the sixers needed another big guy who cant play a full season

  7. G: Jrue
    G: Nick Young
    F: ET
    F: Thad
    C: Bynum
    ?
    Call me a fool, but I like where we’re headed. Doug should be able to control Bynum.

  8. Davis, you for real? Doug Collins can handle Bynum better than Phil Jackson? Really? Let’s ask Michael Jordan about that one.

  9. Even if it is only one year, that means we have a clear cap with a great FA class in 2013, which is definitely better than paying iggy over 15 million each of the next two years. This is a gift of a deal so let’s all just enjoy the ride.

  10. I love it for a few reasons mentioned above, but no one is mentioning we are FINISHED with Brand’s contract as well!!! That means Iggy & Brand’s contracts are DONE! OFF THE BOOKS! FREE MONEY! for us to do whatever we want next season. Maybe we can get Dwight (doubtful) or a few others. Maybe the front office had a plan all along signing guys like Kwame! *sarcasm font on that last sentence*

  11. Well, I for one am elated at the deal, the Sixers finally land their first truly legitimate center since Moses Malone back in the early 80’s, and they even managed to unload Andre Iguodala and the rest of his bloated contract. So what if it’s just one year, the aim was to fill the coffers for the free agent class of 2013, and the Sixers figure to have a boatload of cash to spend. That works for me.
    As for Bynum, his arrival automatically makes him the best center in the Eastern Conference, what’s more, he’ll be playing for his next contract since he’s hot to explore free agency, so he’ll be like Godzilla on the floor, a definite plus for the team. And I’m sure Doug Collins will be able to keep the kid in line, something that limp wristed chump Mike Brown couldn’t accomplish. As long as Bynum’s knees hold up, I see no problem.
    However, I agree with Kyle that signing Bynum to a long term deal would be damned risky, but that’s a year away. For right now, I’m just going to enjoy what Bynum can bring to the team.

  12. The Sixers can offer Bynum one more year and and more money than anyone else at the season’s end. Just something to think about.

  13. I like this move and think a healthy, focused Bynum can be an important cog in the sixer’s future for years, but I would like to THANK Iggy for his services
    Iggy was the best player on a bad team and unfortunately got paid like one. He became overrated and never shouldve been labeled what he was labeled. That being said, he came to play on both ends of the floor and filled up the stat sheet as best he could, despite not being a great shooter and have bad shot selection at times. All the overrating and the bad contract made the way he played underrated IMO.
    That being said, fuck yeah Bynum

  14. So…does anyone know exactly WHO made this trade? Isn’t Thorn on his way out? Did they finalize a replacement? Doug’s in London…so who the F did it?

  15. Uncle Buck..never said that phil jackson didn’t/couldn’t handle him; was more joking; his nickname is the Zen Master for a reason…was really more saying that collins will handle him much better than Mike Brown, and maybe more willingly than an exhausted/fed up/foot out the door Phil Jackson

  16. Can’t wait 2 see what the 76ers get 4 Bynum at the trade deadline…I’m only half Kidding with that comment…If they are a middling team with the Heat & C’s/Knicks/etc looking REAL good, & Bynum doesn’t seem to want to sign an extension by than, they could get a King’s ransom 4 Him if He is Healthy at that point in the Season. Again, if they don’t think they R a lock for the ECF (progress from last season), than trade Him.

  17. This blogs attitude toward the Bynum trade is stupid. The Sixers were staring at the worst place you could be in the NBA: Middle of the Pack. At a time when the NBA is shifting back to an 80’s style group of super teams, the Sixers were staring at a decade of forced mediocrity.
    The Bynum trade gives them a superstar to build around, they can go out and spend gobs of money on the great 2013 FA class. Iggy wouldn’t have done that, he gets them into the playoffs (barely) and out vs. the 1 or 2 seed. Wow, that’s exciting. 😐

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