4. Would you do the Bynum trade again?
DF: A thousand times “Yes!”. Anyone who has followed this team knows they had reached their ceiling. If you have an opportunity to bring in a franchise big man, you take it. If this team brought back Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, and Lou Williams, would we suddenly be vaulted into contending status? Absolutely not, and the development of Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner would continue to be stunted.
JM: Yes, I would do the Bynum trade even knowing what we know now. The Sixers reached their ceiling with last years team, and we needed to change the roster and make a move to become a contender. We are always complaining about management never making bold moves to improve (rightfully so), and they finally did. You must take risks to get big time players and become a contending team.
JA2: Yes. Will be back by All-Star break, if he doesn’t produce his contract expires this summer allowing the Sixers to go after a big free agent or multiple pieces, will add much needed rim protection, rebounding, and low post scoring option when healthy.
SB: Without a doubt I would do that trade again. It makes a lot of sense for this team in many ways. You got Bynum for a year so you could see if he would fit and be the go to guy in your offense and then decide on giving him a long term deal. Even though the first half of the season is a wash, you should get him back in the second half and can still make a decision on your future. You also got Jason Richardson, who has been a nice leader and has helped the development of Jrue Holiday.
CJ: I would do the Bynum trade again. Everyone is sulking in pity as for the moment Bynum hasn’t played a lick of basketball. But look at the future and the possibilities of what he can do in this franchise. Look at the Eastern Division, no real solid big men nor solid big man scorer. Andrew Bynum to me is well worth the risk. But we continue to wait and see.
JA: Yes I would do the Bynum trade over again only if we got to keep Nik Vucevic, who is averaging a double-double this season in points and rebounds. The Sixers miss that guy in the middle without Bynum. Vucevic would have been key this season.
5. Latest news has Bynum back by All-Star game. Assuming this happens, what kind of production do you see from him for the rest of the season?
DN: Nothing worth getting excited about. For a couple of weeks, his minutes will be heavily monitored I would imagine. Then you have the month of March which has 17 games in 31 days. There’s going to be back to backs and I don’t think Bynum is ready for heavy minutes like that. I’d be surprised if he averaged more than 30 minutes a game. 15 points and 7 rebounds per game seems reasonable. And it may be worth a max contract to the team.
EG: I think Bynum will play ok. I don’t expect to see anything outstanding from him yet.
DF: He’ll most likely start off with limited minutes. Doug (as well as ownership) will want to tread lightly with him. I imagine the approach will be similar to other prized players coming back from injuries (Ricky Rubio, Eric Gordon) and he won’t play in back-to-back games. Expect something like 12pts and 7rebs to start. If he stays healthy into March, I think we’ll start to see the player we’ve all been waiting for. 20 plus points and 10 plus rebounds a game with a few breakout games, not to mention the signs of a growing cohesion between Jrue and Drew.
JM: Obviously when Bynum comes back he won’t be in all star form. I expect him to play hard defense, grad boards, and get to the line when he returns. As time goes by, I expect him to return to his old self and perform at an all star level before it is all said and done.
JA2: Rim protection, rebounding, low post scoring, ability to space floor for perimeter shooters like Richardson, Wright, and N.Young. Playing to prove he is worth a max contract wherever he may go next year, expect 100% effort.
SB: If he can consistently play, he brings a low post presence they have been lacking all year long. He also allows Holiday to not have to carry the offense as much and allows Thad to play more like a small forward than a low post guy.
CJ: Andrew Bynum can really open up scoring lanes for Jrue and Evan as well as being a rebounding and post presence. Those are two keys the Sixers have lacked for quite some time. Just think back to when they had Mutombo. He played with his back to the basket, but was able to free up lanes for Keith Van Horn and Allen Iverson. I feel Bynum can do the same for JRich, Nick Young, as well as our young back court.
JA: For Bynum, I see 19 points and 9 rebounds per game from him but he will be rusty at first. So we as fans, writers, and analysts need to sit back and watch this play out.
6. Feeding off of the last question, can the Sixers make the playoffs?
DN: Unless Bynum’s return sparks an instant change in the team and they become the team we all saw them to be…no they won’t make the playoffs. I think they are in too deep and they need to get to the unlikely .500 by the time Bynum returns in order to even have a shot. 1st round is their ceiling.
EG: They might just slip in but it will be tough.
DF: I’m not convinced that teams like Atlanta, Milwaukee, and even Boston can continue to play strong enough to hang on to a playoff spot. That being said, this team is in a downward spiral with the only possible antidote being Bynum returning and playing well. Lastly, if the Sixers can squeak in only for a first round match-up with Miami, would you even want to?
JM: The Sixers can make the playoffs because the East is not very good, but they need to start beating the bad teams that they should beat. Losing games to the likes of the Suns, Hornets, and Raptors will not get you into the playoffs. If the Sixers are around the .500 mark when Bynum returns, I expect them to make the playoffs.
JA2: Sure they can. They are just 3 games out in the Eastern Conference that is weak across the board with Bynum expected to play by All-Star break.
SB: If they can have Bynum be the low post threat to join Holiday’s perimeter scoring then they could win a lot of games. They also need consistent defense every night like last season and more of a bench presence. If these things happen, I don’t see why they can’t get the 7th or 8th seed in the East.
CJ: At this state, yes they could but I don’t see them progressing past the first round. Let’s be real, had Derrick Rose not fallen to injury the Sixers more than likely would have had a first round exit. You can’t count on a star to get hurt every round. You need to execute and have solid play from your key players and right now besides Jrue, nobody steps up on a nightly basis enough to push this team.
JA: Yes the Sixers can make the playoffs because the East is wide open and this team was built around Andrew Bynum he is the focal point around this entire offense. With Bynum in the lineup, the Sixers shooters become just that more dangerous. If the Sixers make the playoffs, I can see them finishing no higher than the 6th seed which is an improvement for this team.
7. Jrue Holiday makes the All-Star team?
DN: Even though he’s playing at an All-Star level, I just think that him not being on a good team combined with the plenty of talent in the back court, he may not get in.
EG: He definitely deserves to but because of the other great players, he might not.
DF: Kyrie Irving is a lock for one of the reserve spots. I think it comes down to Jrue and Brandon Jennings. However, Deron Williams could be the pick based on reputation, not to mention the Nets and Bucks have better records than the Sixers. I say Jrue gets in based on the MVP (how bad is his team without him) argument. We saw a little bit of that when Jrue went out with a foot strain in December. 4 games without Jrue – 4 straight losses.
JM: Jrue Holiday without a doubt deserves to be in the all star game. He’s averaging about 20 points and 10 assists per game. I don’t think he will make it because the Sixers do not have a very good record. In fact, I’m not sure he would make it even if they had a winning record because the all stars are picked by the fans and they usually vote based on previous seasons and don’t usually do their homework. Even if he doesn’t make it, Jrue has proved that he is a great player and that’s all us Sixers fans want to see.
JA2: Deserving, but no. 19.4 PPG, 9 APG, 4.2 RPG are All-Star numbers, but All-Star game is a popularity contest and Sixers poor play will hurt as well.
SB: His numbers say he should be in Houston, but the Sixers record could keep him away. He has had an awesome first half and it would be a shame if he doesn’t get to show his skills on the big stage.
CJ: If you say Jrue Holiday is not an All-Star, you’re sleeping under a rock. Jrue has put this team, this franchise on his back. If not for Jrue this team may not have double digit wins in my opinion. A plethora of double -doubles this season and a triple double, is enough of a resume to get an All-Star jersey.
JA: Yes, Jrue Holiday makes the All-star its no way he doesn’t. He has played much better than Deron Williams who is a superstar to many people. He is putting this Sixers team on his back night after night and needs to be rewarded for it. He will get better with time and with a big man such as Bynum joining him, Holiday could be playing himself into a top 10 point guard.