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Agent says there’s ‘not a concern in the world’ that Andrew Bynum will be ready for training camp

Jun 25, 2013, 12:15 AM EDT

Newly-acquired Philadelphia 76ers player Bynum smiles during a news conference at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia Reuters

Andrew Bynum didn’t play a single game for the Sixers last season, after coming over in a trade that sent Andre Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets.

Knee injuries prevented Bynum from ever taking the court in a Philadelphia uniform, and his time with the franchise became more contentious as the season went on. He finally underwent surgery in March, which officially shut down any possible hope that he’d play for the team at any point last season.

The complicated part for the Sixers now is that Bynum enters this summer as an unrestricted free agent. When healthy, he’s an All-Star big man that a team can build around for the future. But it’s impossible to predict how his knees will hold up under the load of a regular season schedule at this point, so shelling out big dollars over several years is going to be a risky proposition for any team lining up to try and secure Bynum’s services.

That decision won’t be made any easier with the knowledge that Bynum is expected to be back on the court by the time training camps open this fall.

From Dan Gelston of the Associated Press:

Bynum’s agent, David Lee, told The Associated Press on Monday night there’s “not a concern in the world” that Bynum will be ready for training camp.

He also said he had no conversations with the Sixers and does not expect any kind of deal with the team before the 7-foot center becomes a free agent on July 1.

Bynum did not receive an enthusiastic endorsement from new general manager and president Sam Hinkie at his introductory press conference in May.

“I think of Andrew like the thousands of other young men walking around the world that are unrestricted free agents that have potential to play NBA basketball,” Hinkie said. “He is one of those. I’m duty bound to consider them and look at them. All of them.”

It’s understandable that the Sixers might be skittish about signing Bynum long-term, especially considering how this past season played out. But they’re really in a no-win situation.

If Philly lets Bynum walk, then they got nothing in exchange for an asset like Iguodala, and are left trying to rebuild essentially from scratch. If they give Bynum a huge contract and his knees turn out to be a recurring, semi-permanent issue, then they were stupid for doing so, and should have known better. Finally, if Bynum leaves as a free agent and returns to his All-Star form with another team, the Sixers will be criticized for allowing a building block like that escape.

There are no easy decisions surrounding Bynum where the Sixers are concerned.

  1. rickyspanish - Jun 25, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    I keep forgetting Bynum is a 76er.

    • cbking05 - Jun 25, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      He never really was … I don’t think Philly Fans claim anyone that doesnt play a minute for them … He played left out last year, that’s all he played.

      • daydreamer3075 - Jun 25, 2013 at 11:16 PM

        Right, I feel like the safest decision is to let him go and explore any team brazen (i.e., stupid) enough to offer him a max contract. If they can get him cheap—it’s worth it (7-footers are still rare) otherwise, it’s not worth the headache. I think his health (and frankly his motivation) have demonstrated themselves to be inconsistent enough that letting him go could be justified on risk management alone.

  2. bifford - Jun 25, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    I feel bad for the fan base of whichever team signs this hobbled locker room cancer.

  3. ivanoiurares40 - Jun 25, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    Reblogged this on TheSlashDash.

  4. dkphilly1122 - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:01 AM

    Let him walkkkkkkk. Once a basketball players knee’s go, they will never be the same player again, especially big men. They don’t need that cancer in the Sixers locker room. Let some other team overpay for him. If he plays for another team and is back to his healthy all star self, cool. If not cool too. I just don’t wanna see the Sixers waste anymore money on him.

  5. sportsnut101 - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    U can get get oden for cheaper both will Neva play again

    Hornets ready to sign him on 2 yr deal

  6. whodatnhollywood - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    I don’t blame Philly if they let Bynum go. They should! He STOLE money from them this past season! Their fans deserved so much better. So did Doug Collins. I’m glad he’s no longer here in LA with our Lakers! With Dwight Howard, at least the team can do a sign and trade. (Part of me really hopes that happens~for Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe). I’m sick of his antics too!

    For Bynum, maybe some team will give him a vet’s minimum $1.3m contract. That’s all they should offer him~until he shows he can remain healthy, and most importantly, act like a professional! His priorities were totally twisted all season long. Dude ain’t serious about an NBA career. It’s just the way it is.

  7. anhdazman - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    Bynum’s agent isn’t concerned about Bynum’s knee?! He must think he’s still in LA LA land.

    Warning to all struggling NBA franchise, do not make the foolish mistake of signing this damaged goods NBA Center. His knees are made of glass and the Tin Man has more heart than Bynum prior to seeing the Oz.

    Don’t strap your franchise down with this troubled player.

  8. tcclark - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:47 AM

    We’re really stuck between a rock and a hard place with this one. The Sixers have some cap flexibility right now and if they hang on to it, they will have even more next year and could make a run at one of the many free agents next year. But let’s be serious, Lebron isn’t coming to Philadelphia, nor is Dwayne Wade, nor is Chris Bosh, or really anyone for that matter. Philly is a major market in Football, baseball, and Hockey. No one wants to go to the Sixers.

    So really we have 2 options. We can let Bynum walk, suck for a while, and hope we hit the jackpot in the terrible draft classes that seem to be coming in every year or we can take the gamble on Bynum as the only free agent interested in the Sixers and hope he can return to form. Either way, like the other 22 franchises who haven’t won a championship in the last 30 years…. we’re screwed.

    • bougin89 - Jun 25, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      Same thing with the Bucks. We can save salary cap room and try to make a run at some free agents, but the only free agents we’ll get are guys like Drew Gooden(who we have to over pay for) and other B or C level free agents that won’t get us into contention. Unless we strike it rich(and I mean real rich) in the draft we have no chance/are screwed.

  9. cantonbound13 - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:59 AM

    He’s a bum

  10. patfic15 - Jun 25, 2013 at 7:48 AM

    I feel sorry for any team that signs this guy. Don’t waste the money!

  11. joeyb3878 - Jun 25, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    C’mon now. Bynum will never play to his potential. Philly needs to swallow their pride and cut their losses.

  12. ambitoos - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    When Bynum truly wants to play he is a major force. He is truly gifted. He kind of reminds me of Gaither from the Chargers, Ravens. He’s got the talent but lacks heart. They’re both basically lazy ass people.

  13. brookwell2013 - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    David Lee is a disaster as an agent….he represents 2 players in the league….just two. Bynum and Trevor Ariza. He has just about destroyed Ariza’s career moving him from one franchise to another….his rep amongst NBA GM’s is horrible; his comments about Bynum are flat out garden variety stupid…….Bynum will always have bad knees and there is an overwhelming possibility that in his rehab from the March surgery he’ll have a setback. Huge longshot if the kid is ready for camp in the early fall.

  14. itsonlyaspeedbump - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Let him go. He may even be an All-Star somewhere else but odds are against that at this point. Besides, recent NBA history suggests that having dominant wing players that can do a bit of everything is more valuable then a plodding big man in the post.

    Miami seemingly has no bigs at all. OKC and Chi, when healthy, are top-tier teams dominated by their wing players. Even the Spurs with Tim Duncan were 29th in rebounding because they were more interested in pace and spacing. Parker is that teams best player now.

    Let Bynum walk. Hope for the best in the lottery in 2014, which is the best in years according to experts.

  15. jssgriffi - Jun 25, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    Yea, screw him and bynum

  16. ocgunslinger - Jun 26, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Bynum may have flashes of brilliance at the beginning of the season but will not last the year before going out with issues.

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