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Sixers CEO calls Andrew Bynum trade a move that “should have worked”

Mar 4, 2013, 10:19 PM EDT

76ers Bynum Basketball AP

There is a palpable frustration surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers. Whether you’re a fan watching at home, a season ticket holder, the head coach, or an executive in the front office, the odds are that you are not happy with the way this season has progressed.

They have lost eight of their last 10 games, are 12 games under .500, and have lost so many games to injury to key players it would be laughable if it all wasn’t a little sad.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way, though. In the offseason the Sixers were looking like a team on the rise after making a major trade for Andrew Bynum. Bynum was supposed to be their new franchise player and anchor their team on both sides of the ball.

In an interview with Comcast Sportsnet, 76er CEO Adam Aron seems like a man trying to come to grips with the fact that the move they all thought would be a franchise changer has gone terribly wrong:

“This is a move that should have worked,” Aron said. “But, unfortunately, he got an injury in September and it’s been compounded since, post-trade and we haven’t seen a day. The fans hopes were justifiably high that the Sixers had made a move, a bold move, that would catapult us back into the top teams in the NBA. It hasn’t worked.”

Bynum, of course, has had injury issues for much of his career — or at least since he became a full time player. The Sixers knew of these issues when they traded for Bynum, their doctors signed off on the deal with the expectation that he’d be ready to go at the start of the season. That hasn’t happened, though. Furthermore, every timeline for his return has been pushed back.

It is seemingly that moving back of his return that has frustrated everyone the most. More from Aron:

“We certainly thought he was going to play in August,” Aron said. “That’s why we made the trade. Even in early October, we thought he would play on opening night. Then there was a delay. Then there was [another] delay. Even when we announced that he was out indefinitely, inside the team we thought he would play in January or February. He himself, in February, said he would play in February. But here we are in March and the team is disappointed. Our fan base is disappointed. And that’s the story of the season.”

The question for the Sixers now becomes what to do with the mercurial center moving forward. It’s becoming more and more likely that Bynum doesn’t play and single minute this year and that will put the organization in an incredibly difficult position when deciding how to approach his pending free agency.

The Sixers have gone on record saying that re-signing Bynum is their “plan A”. However, what will that cost and how many years will they need to offer him to secure his services?

Considering the dearth of talent on the free agent market — outside of Chris Paul and Dwight Howard the market is devoid of any elite players besides Bynum — the odds are that Bynum will receive a max contract offer from some team in the off-season. Will that team be the Sixers?

If I were them, I’d float the idea of signing Bynum to a two year contract for the max with a team option for a third year. The max money would appease Bynum’s desire to be financially secure and the shorter length (with a team option) would give both sides some leverage down the line. If Bynum returns to full health and performed as he did before the injury, he’ll still be in his prime and  eligible for another max deal when that contract expires. If he never recovers, the team can cut bait after two seasons. Seems like a win-win for both sides.

But, as Aron says, that’s a decision for the off-season. And a decidedly difficult one considering the uncertainty and the importance of it. When they do decide, you have to think that they will recall those thoughts they had this summer when they pulled the trigger in the first place.

It’s a deal that should have worked. Maybe it still will.

  1. packersareandwillalwaysbebetterthanthebears - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Come to Dallas.

    You can’t be worse than Dampier was.

    • biasedhomer - Mar 5, 2013 at 12:32 AM

      Unless Bynum only plays 30 games

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      there is no crying in sports. here is what you do, sign him to a max deal
      and cross your fingers.

  2. titansbro - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    I’d hate having Bynum on my team if I was a Sixers fan. Epitome of what’s wrong with the NBA. Hasn’t done a damn thing in the league & thinks he’s a superstar. This clown isn’t going to take you anywhere.

    • philadelphiafan - Mar 5, 2013 at 12:56 AM


  3. BigBeachBall - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    sixers got bamboozled

    • money2long - Mar 5, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      i was more surprised at the time that any team would be willing to be the 3rd party to help LA get Dwight

  4. captainwisdom88 - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    sixers cant continue to pay 16 million for damaged goods. Why is it that this team can never make the “right move.” We sign Webber on the decline of his career. We sign brand on the decline of his career. We sign Bynum, a man with no knees to a 16 million dollar contract, only to let him be a free agent at the end of the season. Can we please employ someone who can make the right move, like say, once in a blue moon?

    • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 5, 2013 at 7:59 AM

      We didn’t need Webber in 1993…we were getting the greatest thing in the history of the NBA remember? Shawn Bradley!!! Who needed C-Webb or Penny?

      F’in Harold Katz.

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:37 AM

      do you want A-Rod?

  5. rushbacker - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    It’s a real shame that Bynum will continue to get paid by an NBA team beyond this season. Dude is a crook, straight up.

    • money2long - Mar 5, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      maybe bynum will not sign a max deal if the team that signs him is willing to put “handicap parking access” in his new contract.

  6. cousineddy - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    it was a gamble that didn’t work, but Iguodala wasn’t the answer and he was the main thing we lost……at least they didn’t sign him long term before the year started. They have plenty of money to spend, just get rid of everyone except Jrue, Thad, and Moultrie

  7. patfic15 - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    Cut your losses! Iggy would’ve walked anyway. Maybe a sign and trade? If I’m the GM, my Plan A is to get a new Plan A.

    • money2long - Mar 5, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      if everyone knew how good vucevic was going to be, they could have done much better in a trade involving iguodala as well. bynum’s injuries really suck. especially from a fans persective. i would hate to be the one signing his checks too, seeing as how frustrating the year has gone for AB.

  8. dmb182 - Mar 5, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    The problem is, if you really want to compete, you need a superstar, heck you need two, but you let Bynum walk and then what? Who’s out there? Howard will resign with the Lakers and CP3 will stay with the Clippers. And that’s the level of talent the Sixers want. They need to sell tickets and to sell tickets they need a superstar. Bynum’s just the only option. I’m not saying it’s right, it’s just the way the NBA is these days. Kind of stinks.

  9. badintent - Mar 5, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    who cares. Just another reason for Philly fans to blow gas out of their mouths. Their football and baseball teams suck,If I has the misfortune to live in Philly,I’d move to Baltimore , they got a great NFL team for many years.

    • ryanrockzzz - Mar 5, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      Yeaa….all those playoff appearances by the Phillies and that World Series a few years back….hmmmm yea….

  10. asublimeday - Mar 5, 2013 at 1:50 AM

    No fan base deserves this kind of hilarious failure more.

    • thesixersbench - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      Bitter isn’t a good look.

  11. asublimeday - Mar 5, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    Come to Dallas.

    You can’t be worse than Dampier was.

    What?! A Packers fan who doesn’t live in Green Bay?! I’m shocked.

    How’s the fake stock you paid $500 for look hanging on your wall?

  12. bigtganks - Mar 5, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    Cut your losses and sixers. After all, Greg oden is a free agent too, so just invest heavily into him. I mean what could possibly go wrong???

  13. jacobknicks - Mar 5, 2013 at 6:21 AM

    The only thing Bynum brought to Philly was a bad hairdo

  14. mazblast - Mar 5, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    A two-year contract is two years more than he deserves. Isn’t it obvious by now that she doesn’t want to play, only to be paid?

  15. exhelo1 - Mar 5, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    Bynum barely played in high school, due to knee problems, and his body structure makes him more prone to knee injuries, which has ended up being the case. Add in his attitude, and as a Lakers fan, I was thrilled with the trade.

  16. borderline1988 - Mar 5, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    I am no Bynum fan…I think even when healthy a team should think twice about giving him the max due to his maturity level.

    That being said, the Sixers need to sign him. The Sixers have some good young pieces beginning to enter the prime of their careers…if you let Bynum walk, you’re back in the middle-zone of 7th to 9th in the East, with no real hope for the future. No big-time free agent is coming to Philly.

    So what is the financial room good for? Take a chance on this guy, i’d give it a 50-50 chance it works out. If it doesn’t, they’re not really much worse off than if they let him walk. If it does work, they have an unstoppable force in the East, and they’re likely a top-4 seed going to at least the 2nd round (and they won’t need Derrick Rose to blow out his knee to get there).

    It’s a crappy situation; maybe they should have targeted someone else with Iguadola. But this is the situation they are in now…I wouldnt just give it up for nothing.

  17. allen227 - Mar 5, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Is he getting paid?

  18. njbrian67 - Mar 5, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    Wow…have you even paid any attention to what has gone on all season in Philly with the Andrew Bynum soap opera? His knees are SHOT! He reportably has a degenerative condition in both knees that there is no medical procedure that will correct it. His MRI’s on the knees were supposedly ok (I really suspect something funny there) last August when they made the deal, then magically two months later when it was time for him to go to work he injured his knees so badly by “bowling” that he couldnt play. He has practiced exactly one time with the team all year, and shown zero heart or desire to work through the pain to get back on the floor. If he ever wants to play again, he’s going to have to play through pain and he’s said on record that he won’d play with pain. This guys is a first rate DOG, and to commit any future dollars to his sideshow act would be criminal.

  19. andyreidisthegoat - Mar 5, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Aron on 97.5 yesterday was embarassing. He sounded so ridiculous. Spending money doesn’t mean you win rings. Spending wisely wins rings. This sixers thing is a 10 year rebuild at best. Unless they just take another shot at bynum and hope it works out again, but at a reduced rate. they really have no more options. unless they get lucky in the draft.

  20. turdfurgerson68 - Mar 5, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Let’s apply Wall St quantitative ‘logic’ here:

    “A trade works…until it doesn’t”

    And look where that ‘logic’ has put the economy the past 5 years.

    Good luck Philly fans.

  21. ryanrockzzz - Mar 5, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    This Bynum situation has a been a depressing and maddening one for all Sixers fans. The rationale for re-signing Bynum is falling apart more each day considering his attitude towards playing basketball and being a good teammate is worse then both of his knees.

    The Sixers need to blow this thing up and start over. Had they tried this method at least one time over the past 10 years, they may be in a better position now. The bigger problem to me is they routinely do the same thing. Fill the team with one semi-marketable “piece” (i.e. Iguodala for years), and sneak in as a late round seed. This does nothing but get them a horrible mid level draft choice, and create an endless cycle of dullness for the franchise and fan base.

    I hate seeing bad basketball, but I would much rather see a team of young players working to get better, rather then a motley crue of players who can’t play defense (Swaggy P) can’t play offense (Hawes) or can’t get on in shape enough to get on the court (Moultrie, and obviously Bynum.)

    Hopefully the Sixers let Bynum go, Collins plays the burnt out card and his handpicked GM Delio can go right with them. Maybe then they will either trade the only high draft choice in Turner they’ve made in recent memory, or they can bring in a coach that lets him faciliatate the offense with Jrue as a two guard. Then maybe, just maybe, they start to turn this thing around, without an albatross of a contract like Bynum hanging over them.
    who knows.

  22. rjlink1 - Mar 5, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    “Blazers GM calls Sam Bowie pick a move that “should have worked”.”

  23. dirtydrew - Mar 5, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    If Bynum gets a max deal, let him go.

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