The Sixers said on Saturday that Bynum would be out indefinitely. I figured this news would arrive at some point during the season. First we heard he would be out until Oct. 31st. Then we heard he would be out until December and start practicing with the team before hitting the court in January. Some top doctor thinks possibly Bynum has a condition where he would need to sit out until March or April otherwise he would need season ending (his season can’t end if it never started though) surgery and be out for a year.
And so now folks are saying Sixers traded for damaged goods and Sixers shouldn’t have made this trade in the first place. Other folks are saying Sixers should not sign Bynum after this season as his career is done (not official quote just reiterating what I’ve seen and heard). Well, in this mini series, I will share my own thoughts about the entire situation. Today, I’ll talk about why I think the Sixers made the right move in getting Bynum in the first place. Next, I’ll talk about how I think the Sixers should handle Bynum for the off-season. And lastly, I’ll talk about what the Sixers should do now that Bynum is definitely not playing any time soon.
Anyway, I’m going to tell you why the Sixers made the right trade. You have t focus on the reason why the Sixers made the trade in the first place: To fit a need. As I’ve been saying all of last season, the Sixers’ weakest areas are rebounding, post scoring, and post defense. Andrew Bynum fit that hole perfectly. It just so happens he’s the second best Center in the NBA but there are quit ea few quality Centers that could fill that role too.
Without Bynum, without a superstar, the Sixers were headed nowhere. Really, they were already in nowhere. At the pace we were heading, there was no championship in sight. Let’s face it: The Sixers were mediocre. If you believed the Sixers were on their way when they lost in game 7 in the second round of the playoffs, you’re living a wonderful dream. But all it is is a dream.
The Sixers needed a change. They needed to take a step into the right path of contention. When you have the chance to get a superstar without having to give up a superstar, you generally take it. Bynum’s had a history of knee problems. Nobody’s denying that. But it’s not like he’s played badly when he was on the court. And last season was a sign of what I thought was Bynum’s injuries taking a backseat.
Last year we saw many injuries as the league adjusted to a short training camp and preseason. Not many players were in shape. Yet, Bynum played nearly the entire season, though it was only the 66 games and not the typical 82 game season. It was his best year of his career. All indicators pointed up. Stock arrows were green. How could you say no? Yeah, there was a risk but considering the alternatives, Sixers had to jump on this opportunity.
Some of you are complaining just to complain. I’m calling you out here. You would’ve complained that the Sixers missed out on Bynum if Sixers backed away from the proposed deal. If the Sixers didn’t make the trade, I’m sure there are folks out there that would’ve called the Sixers’ ownership stupid and incapable of running this team. That’s the reality. For you, Sixers were in trouble either way. But you have to take risks to win in the NBA. Sometimes it works out, and other times it doesn’t. And that’s okay.
There are bad decisions. There are bad contracts out there. There have been bad trades. But Bynum is not one of them at this point. I would do this trade over and over again. It had to happen. It gives hope. It shows that there’s a plan in place. We’re trying to win a championship. I’m not into “good job, good effort”. Even if the Sixers were losing, it would be better that just sitting around with decent players and perhaps slip into the second round of the playoffs.
Sixers knew they needed a change in direction of the roster and even the front office. They have made moves to show they are ready to make informed decisions. I like that about this ownership.
At the end of the day, you’re only angry at this trade if you actually enjoyed the safety, yet dull and lifelessness of mediocrity. Anytime there’s a legitimate chance at a championship, you have to take it.