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Sixers’ managing owner defends decision to trade for Andrew Bynum

Sep 29, 2013, 9:30 PM EDT

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

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.

From John Finger of CSNPhilly.com:

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.

  1. sgtr0c - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    I am a Sixer’s fan. I liked the trade when it went down. Hated how it played out. But reguardless how he plays where he is, the Sixer’s are going in a better direction. Will Cleveland win the championship this year? Will he play? Even if Cleveland is off the hook next season if he doesn’t play this season, per the contract, will the Sixers or Cleveland be in a better place next season? Or the following season?

    Unless your team is full of superstars and he plays up to past potential, he will only make your team a pergatory, 7-8 seed. Good luck Andy, you will never be HOFer, nor will Miami, OKC, or LA be calling you back.

  2. papichulo55 - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    Can’t escape the fact that Philly made a poor appraisal. Sixers were naive. Bynum was more than willing to take their money, knowing he would never play for them. Their only good decision was not to spend ‘Good Money after Bad’.

  3. tampajoey - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    Sixers fans have the right to be a little bitter.

  4. stonie2013 - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Alright so yeah the Philadelphia Sixers did a bad trade. Yes the outcomes were probably the most horrific, and annoying problem for the franchise, and our true fans! But yes teams will make their mistakes in their future, yes in my opinion I do think Sixers did get cheated out by the Lakers b.c the Lakers knew what was happening. Now fast forward to the 2013-2014 season, this 2014 draft class is insane. There calling this draft the best since the Lebron’s. We all know that Sixers are tanking for the prize possession of Andrew Wiggins. This is our time, our moment, the franchises future to get our star player! We’ve waited and drafted horrible players and some decent ones. But in all reality Sam Hinkie knows what he’s doing. We’ve seen Kevin Durant turn the Thunder around, We’ve seen Paul George lead Miami to a game 7 and choke, we’ve seen Blake Griffin bring back the style of dunking, and struggles to win playoff games. Every team such as Dallas with Dirk, Lakers with Kobe, Celtics with Rondo, Clippers with Blake, Indiana with Hibbert and George, Toronto with Gay and Rozen, Houston with James Harden and promising Parsons, Russell Durant Ibaka with the Thunder, warriors with Barnes and Curry, Grizzles with Randolph and Gasol Conley, Miami with Wade James Bosh, Nets with KG Deron Paul pierce, Knicks wit amare and Melo, Cavs with Bennet and Irving but they all have promising futures and stars teams like Bobcats, Wolves, SIXERS for the most part, Suns, Magic all deserve a franchise player for a long time!!

  5. Innocent Bystander - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    I’m a Sixers fan. I liked the trade at the time. In the NBA you have to take big risks with your roster if you want a chance to win a championship. It was a risk and it failed…but it was still worth the shot. I give the team a lot of credit for being able to shift gears and come up with a new plan. Even though this season will be lost, the long term looks positive.

  6. moseskkim - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    No need to be bitter.. If they get a really good player from next years draft and Noel gets healthy and improves, this team could get good fast.

  7. scbaby2013 - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Looking at it now, wish trade for Howard Bynum never happened

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