Philadelphia 76ers introduce Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson

Andrew Bynum to have both knees operated on, done for season


Andrew Bynum — the guy Philadelphia traded Andre Iguodala for — may never play a game in a 76ers uniform.

He’s not going to this year. Multiple reports including have have confirmed that Bynum is going to undergo surgery on both knees to clean up remaining debris giving him problem. Bynum made the decision after consulting with team doctors and his doctors in New York.  The surgery will be performed by Dr. David Altchek in New York.

That means he is officially done for the season… although as he never started the season maybe “done” is the wrong word. There were a constant steam of return dates set and never met, they kept getting pushed back. And frustrating Philly fans.

“After many months of rehabilitation and consulting with numerous doctors, Andrew and the doctors treating him determined that this is the best course of action at this point,” Sixers general manager Tony DiLeo said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor and evaluate his status moving forward.”

Bynum is an unrestricted free agent this summer and one of the biggest questions and gambles on the market.

On one hand, he has degenerative knee problems and may never play, or at least play much, again. But when healthy and playing well is s a franchise anchor, one of the best centers in the game and a guy who can change a game at both ends of the floor.

I think some team is going to give him a max or near max deal — around $15 million a year for two or three years, with options, and with what is known as an Exhibit 3 exemption, commonly called the prior injury exclusion. Basically, it lets a team list a variety of pre-existing conditions where they can waive him and let him go if he doesn’t play due to them. It gives a team protection against what happened to the Sixers this year with Bynum.

But bigs are too valuable around the league, he’ll get paid. The question is how much and by whom.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.

Paul George reiterates “I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot”

Paul George

In the Pacers first exhibition game of the season Saturday against the Pelicans, Paul George started at the power forward spot and looked healthy — that should be the big takeaway. He also showed off his offensive game in the first quarter, eventually finishing the night with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He forced some shots in the second half and had some defensive challenges, but it was a solid outing for a first preseason game.

George did not see it that way, and that will end up being the big takeaway.

He complained about playing power forward during training camp and given the chance after this one game he did it again, as reported by Candace Buckner of the Indy Star.

“I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot,” George said after the Pacers’ 110-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, a game in which he started matched up against 6-foot-11 All-Star Anthony Davis.

“I don’t know if this is my position. We’ll sit and watch tape and I’m sure I’ll talk with coach (Frank Vogel). I’ll talk with Larry (Bird) as well to get both their inputs on how the first game went but…I’m still not comfortable with it regardless of the situation. It’s still something I have to adjust to or maybe not. Or maybe it’s something we can go away from.”

George sees himself as a wing, where he has played his entire career. He doesn’t like defending traditional fours, as a scorer he doesn’t like expending all that energy defending pick-and-rolls and banging with bigger bodies. He’s been clear about that.

He still needs to be open to the idea. How much time George gets at the four on any given night should depend on the matchup — and Anthony Davis is about as rough a matchup as he is going to see. Davis scored 18 points in 15 minutes, and the Pelicans controlled the paint against the small-ball Pacers. George had a hard time defending Davis — welcome to a rather large club, PG. That said, George scored 12 points in the first quarter mostly with Davis on him, he pulled the big out in space and got what he wanted.

Back to the matchups point, George will struggle defensively against the best fours in the game (most of whom are in the West). But what about the nights in the East when George would be matched up on Thaddeus Young from Brooklyn, Jared Sullinger (or David Lee, or whoever) from Boston, or Aaron Gordon with the Magic, or Carmelo Anthony with the Knicks when they play small? There are a lot of lineups the Pacers will see where George at the four makes sense.

The Pacers are transitioning from a plodding and defensive-minded squad to a more up-tempo style, and that’s going to take time— a lot more than one preseason game. However, if George is throwing cold water on the plan after this one effort, it might take a lot longer and be a lot bumpier to make that transition than we pictured.