After the Sixers traded for Andrew Bynum last summer, who was coming off of an All-Star season as a member of the L.A. Lakers, the franchise expected to be even better than it was the year before, which concluded with Philadelphia advancing into the second round of the playoffs.
It didn’t turn out that way of course, with Bynum being forced to miss the entire 2012-13 season due to a series of knee injuries. And, the immediate future may not be much brighter.
Bynum is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, and if doctors around the league sign off on his health, he will likely receive contract offers which approach the max, in terms of both years and dollars.
Given the fact that Bynum was unable to play at all in Philadelphia this season, might he consider giving the Sixers a discount on a new contract for their troubles? Don’t count on it.
While it would be wonderful if Bynum – an unrestricted free agent – gave the Sixers special consideration in light of all that they lost in trading for him and the agonizing wait for him to return, a team source with knowledge of the situation said last week that he does not believe that will be the case.
The Sixers ultimately may have nothing to show for this deal – no Bynum, no Nik Vucevic, who looks as if he could be a budding star with the Magic, no Maurice Harkless, blossoming in his own way in Orlando, and one less first-round draft pick.
It’s tough situation for the Philadelphia franchise to face.
Bynum can’t be blamed for being injured, at least not entirely. He also can’t be criticized for seeking as much as he can financially before signing his next contract.
Offering Bynum a huge deal might be a tough pill for the Sixers to swallow, however, especially after how this season has played out. But it could be even more painful to see a healthy Bynum flourish elsewhere next season, while the franchise is plunged into a full-fledged rebuild that wasn’t exactly of the team’s choosing.