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 CSNPhilly.com 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.