Sixers not providing updates on status of Andrew Bynum

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When the Sixers traded away Andre Iguodala in a deal that brought them All-Star center Andrew Bynum, they envisioned an improved team anchored by a big man that would be a foundation in Philadelphia for seasons to come.

The future may still be a bright one for Bynum there, but he has yet to make his debut for the Sixers this season due to suffering a bone bruise in a workout before training camp even began. And the most troubling part for the team’s fans — in addition to the fact that there’s no timetable for Bynum to return — is the fact that the team has been reluctant to give updates on their big man’s progress.

The local media has been trying, but they’ve continually been shut down by the organization when asking about Bynum. And Bob Cooney of Philly.com is wondering why:

If ownership wanted pats on the back – and it deserved them – when acquiring Bynum, it at least should be up front enough to answer the questions fans want answered about his injury. The only way fans get those answers, of course, is through the media. So what if he is slow recovering from his injury? What’s wrong with saying so? What is wrong with telling the fans the truth?

Getting Bynum was a risk; everyone knew that when it happened. But it is only a 1-year contract, and if it all works out, good for them. If it doesn’t and Bynum can’t play much this season and ultimately moves on, well, so be it. But what’s wrong with being honest?

A couple things here.

It’s likely that the organization doesn’t have anything positive to put out on Bynum at this point — not from a standpoint of him progressing, having increased workouts, or getting closer to practicing in game-like situations. If the team was seeing even a hint of something positive, it would be sure to get that information to its fans so they would keep hope alive, and root for the team to keep it together until they can get Bynum back, which hopefully would be relatively soon.

Now, if the news isn’t so great?

The decision not to inform the public of Bynum being slow to recover might be purposeful, if the organization doesn’t want its fans to sour on him before he even takes the floor, or for them to bail on the team for making a trade that might not improve things, and could ultimately turn out to be a move in the wrong direction.

At some point, though, fans are going to want answers. It’s understandable that head coach Doug Collins would want nothing to do with speaking about the matter, but the organization should have nothing to hide where Bynum’s injury status is concerened — whether he’s likely to see the court anytime soon or not.

Report: Kevin McHale also in mix for team president in Orlando

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Cavaliers GM David Griffin — who doesn’t have a contract with the team beyond this year, but who LeBron James has endorsed — is on their radar.

Larry Bird, who is stepping down in Indiana, is a potential target.

You can add Kevin McHale to the list of former NBA executives the Orlando Magic are taking a look at in their search for a new head of basketball operations, reports Sam Amick of the USA Today.

The Orlando Magic have serious interest in Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Kevin McHale for their team president position, according to two people with knowledge of the situation….But McHale, who served as Minnesota Timberwolves vice president of basketball operations from 1995 to 2008 while also serving as the team’s head coach on two occasions, is known to be on the Timberwolves’ short list as well. The Magic would strongly prefer someone who has previously been a general manager for the president position.

But McHale, who served as Minnesota Timberwolves vice president of basketball operations from 1995 to 2008 while also serving as the team’s head coach on two occasions, is known to be on the Timberwolves’ short list as well. The Magic would strongly prefer someone who has previously been a general manager for the president position.

McHale made some franchise-defining moves as the head man in Minnesota — he drafted Kevin Garnett and he brought Flip Saunders into the organization, he brought in Sam Cassell and Latrell Spreewell and that got the Timberwolves to the conference finals in 2004, to use a few examples.

He had his share of mistakes, too. Like drafting Ray Allen then trading him for Stephon Marbury, or drafting Brandon Roy and trading him for Randy Foye.

The Orlando roster has talent on it — Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic, maybe Elfrid Payton — and a quality coach in place with Frank Vogel. That said the talent on the roster does not fit and Orlando desperately needed someone willing to shake things up, who wasn’t too invested in “their guys” to realize the roster’s serious shortcomings.

McHale could do that. It looks like we are a month or more from finding out, however, as Griffin isn’t going anywhere until after the Cavaliers season — which likely extends into June. If the Magic are serious about him, this process is going to drag out.

Joel Embiid was hanging out with Philly fans at the NFL Draft

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Joel Embiid is a man of the people.

And last night the people in Philadelphia were all Eagles fans, watching the NFL Draft unfold.

Embiid was out there with them. Literally.

Ben Simmons was there as well with Embiid, according to CSNPhilly.com.

Philadelphia fans can only hope the Eagles draft as well — and have WAY better injury luck — than the Sixers.

Moving to new arena, Detroit Pistons submit bids to host 2020 or 2021 All-Star Game

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DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Pistons have put in bids to host a future NBA All-Star Game at Little Caesars Arena.

The team says in a release Friday that bids were submitted to the league for 2020 and 2021.

Little Caesars Arena is being built just north of downtown Detroit and is expected to open this year. It also will be home to the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings.

In November, the Pistons announced the team was moving back to Detroit from The Palace of Auburn Hills.

The city of Detroit last hosted the NBA’s All-Star Game in 1959. The 1979 game was played in Pontiac when the Pistons’ home court was the Silverdome.

NBA All-Star events include the All-Star Game, NBA Rising Stars Challenge, a celebrity game, skills competition and fan events.

PBT Extra: Does Larry Bird stepping down change Paul George question in Indiana?

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When the Woj bomb dropped that Larry Bird was stepping down as president of the Indiana Pacers, two questions came to mind. First was, “Is he healthy?” Reportedly he is, this was not a healthy-related decision. Which is great news.

Second, what does that mean for Paul George?

Is Indiana more likely to trade him now? Less?

George speculation has ramped up around the league and — while no doubt new GM Kevin Pritchard will say he would love to keep PG13 when he speaks to the media — there is a sense Bird walking away could be a sign that the Pacers are moving into rebuilding mode. That said, Pritchard is known for driving a hard bargain, he’s not going DeMarcus Cousins trade here.

I talk about all of that and more in this latest PBT Extra.