Philadelphia 76ers still interested in Andrew Bynum but have bigger problems of their own

Oct 15, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum (33) watches from the end of the bench wearing street clothes during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics at the Wachovia Center. The Sixers defeated the Celtics 107-75. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

With a disappointing 76ers season in the books, as the team didn’t make the playoffs, team owner Joshua Harris is still interested in keeping Andrew Bynum around.

If you followed the Sixers this season, than you’re fully aware of the whole situation regarding. Andrew Bynum. Set backs after set backs, even losing cartilage in his knees that won’t ever come back (example Greg Oden), getting hurt again during a bowling incident and ultimately missing the entire NBA season, one would assume the 76ers would drop Bynum now. Harris however is still open to Bynum’s return according to Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia, saying,

“A healthy Bynum that’s playing is a needle-mover, a top-15 player,” Harris continued. “But the reality is, he didn’t play a game this season. There’s risk. We’re going to weigh the positives and the negatives and try to make a reasoned assessment of what’s appropriate for Andrew. Certainly we’re open to the prospect of bringing him back.”

During last year’s off-season, the 76ers traded superstar Andre Iguodala to get a healthy Bynum, who would’ve been one of the league’s best center’s, didn’t exceed, heck didn’t fulfil the expectations of the Sixers’ front office. The Sixers have bigger problems of their own as head Coach Doug Collins removed himself of duties as coach, and general manager Tony DiLeo was only signed for this season and currently has a contract pending a much need renewal.

Harris however tries to remain optimistic about the whole situation, saying people are over-exaggeration, perhaps in an attempt to give much-needed good news to a Philadelphia fan base previously excited for a Bynum acquisition.

 “I feel like we’re going to build a high-quality organization and we’ll attract a high-quality coach,” Harris insisted. “This is a good situation. We have a bunch of young assets. We have a bunch of cap room. We have an All-Star. And then we have a bunch of draft picks. I think you guys are painting this as a dire situation. It’s really not.”

The 76ers do have some key players having Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young and maybe Spencer Hawes, but no game changer. Iguodala was their game changer.

In regards to draft picks, the 76ers are going to have the 11 selection in the first round of this draft. They’ll also have two second round picks. They still won’t have the game changers they need.

Finally, cap space. John Gonzales explains it perfectly here, saying,

If the Sixers don’t re-sign Bynum, Nick Young and Dorell Wright, all of whom are unrestricted free agents, they’ll still have about $46 million in salary commitments for next season.

If, as expected, the NBA salary cap is about $60 million next year, that leaves the Sixers $14 million. Except they’ll also have to pay their first-round pick, so subtract, oh, another $3 million. That leaves them with approximately $11 million for free agency.

After the 76ers sign free agents at a low-levelled contract, and if they still wanted to resign Bynum, they would end up cutting into the cap space. Realistically though, they can’t do much with $11 million in the free agent market. I won’t get you that game changer that Philadelphia desperately needs.

Philadelphia needs a new realistic from-star-to-finish plan. The first step for Harris is to either re-sign DiLeo. If he doesn’t, he’ll have to look for a general manager with a strong vision, sign him long-term and let him put in the years of work it’s going to take to get this Sixers roster fixed.

Topics: Andrew Bynum, Doug Collins, NBA, Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Sixers, Sixers

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