When the Sixers traded for Andrew Bynum before the beginning of last season, it appeared to be a calculated risk worth taking at the time.
Bynum was coming off of an All-Star season where he averaged a career-best 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds, and despite his history of injury, the team wasn’t going anywhere with Andre Iguodala as its best player, so bringing in one of the game’s elite big men to build around seemed to make a lot of sense.
Well, we saw how that turned out.
Bynum had multiple knee issues, never played a single game in Philadelphia, and left after last season as an unrestricted free agent with the Sixers getting nothing in return.
All of that has left the Sixers where they are today — in shambles, frankly, starting essentially from scratch. But that doesn’t mean ownership would do anything differently with the benefit of hindsight.
On the decision to trade for Andrew Bynum and the disappointment of the 2012-13 season?
“You have to measure decisions against outcomes,” [Sixers managing owner Josh Harris] said. “Sometimes in sports there is an element of randomness. I think going for Andrew Bynum was the right decision because it’s very tough to get a player of that caliber. We did a bunch of work and his health problems ended up being worse than anyone thought. That decision was fine. I’m a big boy — we made a decision and it didn’t work out. But I think some of the other player decisions we made weren’t as good and I noticed those and that certainly weighed on me when we chose to go in a different direction.”
With the way things went down in Philadelphia, there was no way the franchise could in good conscience bring him back, even on something similar to the bargain-level deal he signed to join the Cavaliers.
The decision may have ultimately been the right one to make, but it’s sure going to sting if Bynum comes back healthy and plays the way he’s capable of for Cleveland next season, while the Sixers, in the beginning stages of rebuilding, will struggle to even win 20 games.