As you no doubt have heard, Andrew Bynum is the big cheesesteak in Philadelphia’s crusty roll. He just came off a career year with the Lakers and will only be 25 this season, so there are expectations that he will rise above and beyond what he has already done. I do like Bynum, let me get that out of the way, but there are many alarming aspects about the big guynum:
1) He can’t stay healthy. The dude is so brittle he may as well be peanut. Bizarrely, he actually played an entire 82 games once, but his average is more in line with 60 games. He can still give you good numbers during that time, but this isn’t like baseball where players go on the DL. Bynum is going to chew up a spot on your bench for 1/4 of the season while offering nothing. Yes, he was healthy last season, but last season was some Twilight Zone episode that we can’t really rely upon too much.
2) Philadelphia is a mess. Not the city. That’s dirty, not messy. No, the Sixers ranked 23rd out of 30 teams in points scored last season, which helped them rank 7th in rebounds. Isn’t that good for Bynum, though?, Well, yes and no. If the team keeps bouncing balls off the rim, that allows Bynum to grab some offensive rebounds, sure. However, Bynum is also a solid source of assists, and if there’s no one to dish off to, that doesn’t help. Bynum is currently the Sixers #1 scoring threat. I’m just not happy with who is surrounding him.
3) The boy still can’t hit free throws. In his best year of his career, he still couldn’t pass 70% free throws made. Is it just that the taller you are, the harder it is to make a free throw? Maybe the angle is wrong for them. For Bynum, maybe having the rim only 3 feet higher than the top of your head creates some bad geometry.
4) There is no 4.
5) See 4.
Where does this leave us? Well, if you think Bynum has moved beyond the injury bug and you don’t care that he will be playing games in Philadelphia, then you rank him in your top 3 Centers and you move on. I, however, would temper expectations. I see him ranked maybe #5 among Centers (more on that when the rankings actually come out). In the meantime, let’s project him as thus: .565/.680/0.0 3pt/17.5 pts/12.0 rbd/1.2 ast/0.5 stl/2.0 blk/2.5 tov