Andrew Bynum Could Be Done for Season

Andrew Bynum has made more headlines for his hairstyles than his basketball this season. (Image Source:  Yahoo! Sports)

Andrew Bynum has made more headlines for his hairstyles than his basketball this season. (Image Source: Yahoo! Sports)

Many Philadelphia 76ers fans were excited when GM Tony DiLeo acquired All-Star center Andrew Bynum from the Los Angeles Lakers. But the 25-year-old center has been nothing but a disappointment for Sixers fans this season. Bynum underwent a special blood treatment, known as Orthokine, which was intended to relieve arthritis pain in both of Bynum’s knees. The 76ers held him out of basketball activities through training camp to ensure Bynum’s knee would be healthy, but the discomfort and pain lingered. Bynum’s return date was pushed from early November to the All-Star Break in February. Yesterday, the Sixers reported that Bynum may undergo season-ending arthroscopic knee surgery, ending a season that never started for the young center.

Bynum was the major offseason acquisition for the Philadelphia 76ers; he was acquired in a trade from the Lakers that also involved the Denver Nuggets and Orlando Magic. Bynum was expected to provide a sound inside presence to complement the development of young players like Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, and Thaddeus Young. But once again, Philadelphia is stuck with questions rather than answers. In fact, many basketball fans might say the 76ers haven’t had a true superstar player since Allen Iverson left Philadelphia in 2006. Andre Iguodala made an All-Star appearance in 2012 and led the Sixers to the Eastern Conference Semifinals the same year, but his play was far inferior to other large-market stars like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Kobe Bryant.

With Andrew Bynum’s season likely over, the future of the 76ers as a franchise is up in the air. In order for Philadelphia to become a relevant power in the Eastern Conference again, they will need a few franchise players to build around. They seemingly have one in point guard Jrue Holiday, who was named a 2013 All-Star and is averaging 19.1 points and 8.5 assists per game. Bynum (11.7 points, 7.8 rebounds in seven seasons) could provide a solid one-two punch with Holiday running the point, but his durability is obviously a concern. Currently making $16.9 million, Bynum will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, leaving him free to sign with any team. This poses many questions. Will Bynum return to his native Philadelphia (he grew up in nearby Plainsboro, NJ)? Will he choose to sign with a more successful team? And what salary will he demand after missing an entire season to injury?

The future of the Philadelphia 76ers CAN be bright again. They have plenty of young weapons that can fill spots in the starting 5 (Jrue Holiday at PG, Evan Turner at SG, Thaddeus Young at SF), but they still need a physical center who can score AND pull in rebounds. The “Next Answer” in Philadelphia is Andrew Bynum, but for now, the future is unsure for the Sixers.

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2 Responses to Andrew Bynum Could Be Done for Season

  1. Anon76 says:

    Don’t mean to correct you, but Tony DiLeo wasn’t brought in as the GM until late September of last year. Rod Thorn was in charge of basketball operations at the time of the trade. Good article nonetheless.

  2. Denis Dotson says:

    Wasn’t DiLeo still in the front office, though?

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