Tuesday, March 12, 2013

All Risk No Reward

It is now apparent that "Plan A" of bringing Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia is going to completely explode in the face of Sixers fans and ownership.  With his ever creaky knees still acting up, and his  "It's my life" attitude to playing through pain, it looks like Bynum won't play a game in a Sixers jersey this year and possibly ever.  It is extremely disappointing for a franchise that appeared to be looking up the past few years.  Like always, Philadelphia fans are looking for someone to blame.  While I can't fault ownership for taking a chance like this, I can fault them for just about everything else.

A healthy Andrew Bynum is a game changer.  No doubt.  He is a legitimate seven-footer with range and defensive prowess.  If he is healthy, he is worth what the Sixers gave up to get him.  However, when has he ever been completely healthy?  Never.  This is where the Sixers brass made such a huge mistake.  They paid top dollar to bring in an injured guy when they should have been getting a huge discount.  Not only did they give up Andre Iguodala, an all-star in his own right, but they gave up their first round picks from 2011 and 2012 (Nikola Vucevic and Moe Harkless) and a future first rounder.  And if that wasn't bad enough, they also took on Jason Richardson's huge contract and diminishing talent (who is out for the year as well now).  A lot to give up for a guy you are not completely sure is healthy, right?

Sixers management should have gone into this trade like one of the fat guys from Pawn Stars.  They should have brought up Bynum's knee history as a concern at every opportunity and tried to get something (which turned out to be nothing) for nothing.  Instead, it seems like they were starstruck and got hijacked by every other team involved.  To make matters worse, it seems like the Sixers management might have known Bynum's knee was not in good shape from jump street and tried to cover it up with cryptic statements and misleading reports.  Bottom line, this has to go down as one of the worst deals of all time.  Now the Sixers are assured to be basement dwellers for the foreseeable future. 

Again, I can't say that I didn't like this trade from the outset.  A young team trying to get that missing piece to get over the hump.  But the more details that come to light, the more it seems like the Sixers knew they were getting damaged goods and still paid a huge price for it.  That I can't support, and management should not have done that to the team or the fans.  It's been a pretty bleak year in Philly, and this only made things worse. 

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