Bynum’s Knee-Caps Melting, Flooding Sixers Season
Andrew Bynum has bad knees. And, it appears, they are getting rapidly worse. Much like Global Warming, it appears that a critical desalinization point has been reached in Bynum’s knees, triggering massive storms, a new ice age, and death for anyone north of Mexico (Note: I may get all my Global Warming information from the movie The Day After Tomorrow). Either that, or his eroding joints will just spell doom for the 2012-2013 Sixers season.
With that foregone conclusion…well…all but concluded, the trick now is to limit the damage and see if we can’t ride out this storm (it’s already feeling lame keeping up this weather theme. Oh well, into the breach!).
Lets take a look at how so much promise went so far south so quickly, courtesy of ESPN Rumor Central, who saw fit to ruin my day alerting me to this terrible news at work via-text…
First on Monday:
And then, today, the wheels fell further off:
Were you all sitting down for that? Our franchise center with a history of bad knees has…::GASP:: bad knees! Turns out they were worse than we thought and now it appears January 2013 is an optimistic return schedule for Big ‘Drew.
With that in mind, and the erratic weather of another meh season bearing down on us, let’s hold our own, local hoops version of the Kyoto Summit. And let’s hope, nay, pray, that Tony DiLeo can be less of a douche than Dublya Bush was. With some proper planning, we can get through this unfrozen and un-chased by Wolves (I should really broaden my climate change research shouldn’t I?).
Step 1: Don’t, under any condition, even penalty of death, resign Andrew Bynum. Yes, I know. This should go without saying and not warrant a mention. But this is Philadelphia sports we are talking about. How many times have we all thought there was NO WAYY Andy Reid could be back next season, only to see him there at training camp like a fat, mustachioed, Michael Meyers. So I say again, for the love of all that is holy, do not give this man a contract. This is a guy with a questionable work ethic, a history of authority problems, and knees made of Papier-mache. Oh, and you know that if we do give him a deal, it will be in the “Franchise Crippling” variety (we are talking 5-years, $120 mil). There is no way we can half-ass screwing this up…
Step 2: Shut him down! This one might not be as intuitive, but just say that Bynum is out for the season. Don’t rush him, don’t play him, don’t give anyone hope. Just let him rehab and chill.
This step has two potential benefits: It will allow us to tank a little bit (don’t worry, this is good, I’ll explain in step 3). And, it will allow Bynum to get as healthy as he ever could. That way, we can dangle him in sign-and-trade at the end of the season.Keep in mind that we can still offer him more money than any other team. That behooves him to help us facilitate a sign-and-trade(This is the only exception I will make to Step 1, if the signing is followed immediately and irrevocably by sending him somewhere else).
For those thinking no one would be foolish enough to trade for him now, just remember how much everyone was gushing about “how rare and hard it is to acquire a dominant center…” Who knows? Maybe he’ll be more dominant sitting on someone else’s bench.
Step 3: “Compete” with the rest of our misfits while trying to trade old for young and anything for cap space or draft picks. This could also be called “tanking”, but I think my version sounds less taboo. Here’s the deal, the worst place to be in the NBA is mediocre. That means you’re never really competing and you’re never really getting a good chance to make yourself better either. See, the NBA has a funny structure. There are really only three ways to get elite: Make a big trade that puts existing assets over the top (think Boston circa 2007-2008); Sign one or more big name free agents (Miami); or, draft a core of super talented dudes that grow into a contender (OKC Thunder, San Antonio Spurs before them).
Look, the Sixers have never had much luck with luring big-time free agents (Elton Brand anyone) and this current season’s debacle is apparently what comes from going the trade route, so why not go third option? Sure, it’s more painful and loss-filled to start with, but hey, gotta start somewhere, no where to go but up…etc.
As I’ve typed before, even with 100% of Bynum this year (or the next, or the next…) we really had no legitimate shot of taking down the Heat much less the Heat plus whoever makes it from the West. Let’s take this opportunity to reload now as a blessing in disguise, a prevention from spinning our wheels for the next few seasons. We already have a young team with a few legit piece like Holiday and Young. Add a few high draft picks to that (Nerlens Noel anyone?) and who knows? You’re definitely better off than you are now. Tell me that a possible (many things would have to go right but still) 2014-2015 lineup of: Holiday, Turner, Young, Nerlens Noel, Lavoy Allen, and top-10 draft pick X, doesn’t sound decent? I’d watch that team, which is more than I want to do with the current iteration.
Step 4: Not one, not two, not three, not four… Well you know where that is going. And yes, my tongue was firmly in cheek for that reference. Truth is, even if we pick up some great pieces for Bynum after the season, luck into a couple of top draft picks in the meantime and avoid whiffing on said picks, there is no guaranteeing we would arrive where we want. That said, I don’t see us getting even optimistically that close with what we have now, healthy Bynum or real-life-what-did-you-really-expect Bynum. Let’s be sad that this dominant center in Philly escapade didn’t come up roses, but not miss the rare opportunity to retool on the fly with minimal flack and collateral damage to the fans. We can pull it off, I just know we can.
Until we do, however, I suppose we are just left with Andrew Bynum’s Hair Circus and the tense expectation of more set-backs. The 76ers, Passionate, Intense….