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Bynum promises the Sixers a bright future

August 16, 2012

       Last week the Sixers made a move that was surprising to fans who closely follow there moves; they traded Andre Iguodala and brought in Andrew Bynum from the Lakers. When I heard the deal was finalized, I was in shock that the same 76ers who signed Kwame Brown 3 weeks prior and refered to him as our starting pivot man, made such a positive move. Even though we were openly shipping Iggy, I didnt think we had much of a chance to bring in someone of Bynum’s caliber. I wouldve been happy with Tyreke Evans honestly.

My initial thought though was, doesnt Bynum have 1 year left on his contract? Well today Bynum was introduced to the city along with Jason Richardson, the other piece we got in the deal. And one of my fellow Philadelphians and 76er fans asked him would he resign with us. His response was ” To be honest, man, my first experience here has been so great that I’m leaning  toward making this my home”. He went on to add “I’m not a guy who wants to be all around and have a lot of teams under my belt.  But that’s really the answer. I’m really looking forward to making this my home “. He kinda plays both sides but, thats as good as you can get. Plus if he doesnt return, thats $20 million off our books, and it would seem the 76ers would make another aggressive move hopefully in the right direction.

But we have him for atleast one season, and there will be alot of questions for this upcoming season. Questions like, can Bynum stay healthy? Can and/or will he make the transition from 3rd fiddle to primary player smoothly? Who will become the teams primary facilitator now that Iguodala is in Denver? Will one of our young prospects, Holiday or Turner, explode onto NBA stardom? Can/Will this roster surpass the mediocrity of the 76ers from the past few seasons? Where do they need to improve? Where do they fall in this Eastern Conference?

All good questions, and heres my opinions on them. Bynum had returned from knee surgery to have his best season as a pro last year, with averages of 18 ppg on %56 shooting, 11.8 rbs and 1.9 blocks per game. He played 60 of 66 games last season, missing 6 because of suspension for molly wopping JJ Barea in 10-11’s playoffs. Seems pretty sturdy to me. Theres really no question as to if Bynum is a go-to star caliber player. He’s 24 coming off an all-star start. I think he’ll give us atleast 21 ppg, 12-13 rbs and 2 blocks a game next year. He’s already a lock for starting center for the eastern conference in next years allstar game.

With the departure of Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams, the teams 2 primary ball handlers, I expect decision making to be a little shaky early on for the team. But with the new inside presense, and all the shooters we have on the wing, it shouldnt take long for our team to get it going offensively. It might not immediately reflect in statistics, but I expect Evan Turner to be the teams lockdown perimeter defender, facilitator and grow into a leading role with Bynum. His length should make it easy for him to shutdown some players on the defensive end, while his ball handling and ability to get to the rim should help free up shooters like Richardson N. Young, Wright and Holiday. If he can start scoring the ball and making that jumpshot, maybe he will even develope into a star; after all he was the 2nd overall pick a couple of years ago. At the very least, expect an Iguodala-like do it all type of player with not as much athleticism and defensive intensity, but a smoother offensive touch and more offensive upside. Holiday should also bear some primary ball handling responsibilities, after all he is PG but I dont see the same upside as Turner.

The past few seasons, the 76ers have finished either 7th or 8th seed in the eastern conference. Last year was a unique one tho, because during the beginning of the lockout shortened season we were hovering around 2nd-4th seed. Around allstar break we had an epic, unexpected dropoff and reality came into place and we fell all the way down to 8th.  In my opinion, the team was strong defensively but struggled offensively because we had no type of go-to player when we needed a bucket. With Bynum we not only have a go-to player, but a presence that should be able to set a tone for our offense and defense, and more importantly give us the opportunity to get baskets easier whether it be inside or outside. Combine that with the Hawks and Bulls losing key players, and Boston getting older, and i’d say the 76ers might be a top 4 seed. It really depends on how healthy and dominant Bynum is, how much Turner and Holiday took from the playoffs run, and how all the players we acquired fit in together.

Where the team is shaky is quite obvious. We have so many perimeter wings, Richardson, Turner, N. Young, T. Young, Wright, and only 1 PG who has never had primary ball handling responsibilities. And if you look at the body of work of the wings we have, and what they offer the team, its kinda hard to decide who to attempt to move to get a PG. Thats something i’ll leave up to Sixers management, and just hope and pray they dont trade Turner. Besides that i’d say the roster is solid, with Moultrie and Hawes probably rotating at the 4 spot and Kwame Brown as backup pivot we should be solid.

All opinions below, how do you feel about what I wrote, about the 76ers performance and chances for next season.


From → NBA

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