Sixers not providing updates on status of Andrew Bynum

10 Comments

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.

Who is betting favorite to win Rookie of the Year? Lonzo Ball? Ben Simmons? Depends.

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Rookie of the Year race is wide open heading into next season.

It’s that way every year — if you had predicted Malcolm Brogdon was going to win a year ago, you would have been laughed out of the building — but this coming season has a lot of talent at the top of the board who could win. Lonzo Ball, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Jayson Tatum all have a real shot — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Who is the better favorite? Depends on where you do your betting.

The William Hill’s Nevada sportsbook (which works with a number of Las Vegas casinos, such as the SLS), has this (hat tip ESPN):

Lonzo Ball 9-5
Ben Simmons 5-2
Dennis Smith Jr. 4-1
Markelle Fultz 13-2
De'Aaron Fox 8-1
Jayson Tatum 8-1

The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas has Simmons as the betting line favorite at 9-4

The online betting site Bovda.lv has this line

Lonzo Ball 9-4
Dennis Smith 3-1
Ben Simmons 5-1
Jayson Tatum 5-1
Markelle Fultz 8-1

Traditionally, Rookie of the Year goes to a guy who has the ball in his hands, is aggressive, and puts up raw numbers. It celebrates scorers.

This year a whole lot of guys can fit that bill, more than are mentioned here. It’s going to be a wild ride.

Check out the first NBA 2K18 trailer (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

The NBA season is coming… and that means NBA 2K18 also coming.

To whet the appetite of you gamers out there, check out the first trailer for the upcoming game, with music by Mobb Deep.

You can pre-order the game now.

Aging Pelicans’ owner couldn’t remember Anthony Davis’ name in deposition

Getty Images
2 Comments

Tom Benson, the now 90-year-old owner of the New Orleans Pelicans and the NFL’s Saints, a few years back changed around the succession of control of the team after his passing — his wife Gayle will take control. Rita Benson LeBlanc, Benson’s granddaughter and former handpicked successor, sued saying Benson had been manipulated. After meeting privately with Benson, a judge ruled that while Benson suffered some “cognitive impairment” he was capable of making his own decisions and that Gayle remained the successor.

Benson has been sued multiple times since then, including by former Saints employee Rodney Henry, and the then-89-year-old Benson was deposed in that case last year.

Someone broke the gag order and sent a copy of the deposition to The Advocate of New Orleans, and it shows that Benson’s mental acuity is fading. He couldn’t remember who Anthony Davis was by name.

During another set of questions, apparently aimed at establishing how close Benson and Henry had been, Benson was shown a photo of the two men with Pelicans star Anthony Davis.

“Who is this?” Williams asked.

“It’s Rodney and a basketball player,” Benson said. “Oh, hell, I forget his name. Let me — he’s a great player for us. Tell me his name, and I will tell you yes or no.”

When asked “is it Anthony Davis,” Benson said yes. The man is 90, I’m not sure that we should expect much. He had the foresight to bring in people to run his businesses — including his sports teams — and set up a line of succession for when he does pass. Smart moves.

Would Benson’s mental state impact potential changes coming to the Pelicans? Probably not. New Orleans’ GM Dell Demps bet big on going big in a league trending smaller, pairing Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. If that doesn’t work out, plenty of people around the league expect a house cleaning on the basketball side with the Pelicans. Benson’s mental state, whatever it may be, does not impact that.

The deposition leak came from an anonymous source (and anonymous email account, the paper verified the document before publishing). Who leaked it? It may be nearly impossible to find out, but only one side benefits from all this becoming public. And it’s not Benson.

K.J. McDaniels signs with Raptors for camp, can he make roster?

Getty Images
2 Comments

A few years back in Philadelphia, the athletic K.J. McDaniels was a highlight factory and looked like a guy who could develop into a role player on the wing in the NBA.

Except, he never actually developed. Houston gave him a chance (three years at a total of $10 million), and it didn’t work out, then last season Brooklyn had him for 20 games, but they decided to move on.

Now Toronto is going to give him a chance, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

McDaniels’ agent later confirmed the news. This is a training camp, make-good contract for McDaniels. But unlike a lot of those contracts being handed out around this time, there is space on the Raptors roster for a player or two.

McDaniels will compete with Alfonzo McKinnie, Kennedy Meeks, and Kyle Wiltjer for one of the final roster spots in Toronto. Of that group, I’d most likely want to keep McDaniels because of the shot blocking and his potential — but his outside shot has to improve.

The Raptors can carry 15 on the roster and very possibly will until at least Jan. 10, which is the date these partially guaranteed deals become fully guaranteed for the season. Toronto is flirting with the tax line, and ownership is not going to want to pay the tax for this team, so if they do carry 15 they likely will cut it to 14 by that date.