For one season, Andrew Bynum got the minutes he thought he deserved, and went on to deliver the numbers to make us think of him as one of the best centers in the NBA. Fast forward to 2013, and he still hasn’t played a single game this season, and won’t get to either. The Philadelphia 76ers wasted a lot of money on him, but will part ways in about a month, while the Houston Rockets should simply stay away.
If you thought Andrew Bynum was bad when he was healthy, with his attitude and defensive softness being the only things stopping him, think how bad he’ll be as a player who is just coming off a season in which he hasn’t played a single game but still got to make $16.9 million for sitting on the bench and pulling off weird hair-styles to give us at least one reason to remember he’s still around.
The news of him having to get two more surgeries done on his knees, to clear out any remaining debris still giving him a problem means there’s no chance he’s coming back this season, or to the 76ers. After waiting for him for so long, hoping that his return will spark some sort of late playoff push, Bynum turned out to be one big expensive dud, reaching his season highlight during the press conference announcing his arrival to the city of brotherly love.
The Rockets want a dominant big man who can put up points on the board next season, unlike Omer Asik, who is very good rebounder and improving defensively, but points to help Jeremy Lin and James Harden as they hope to become the premier backcourt in the NBA won’t be coming from him. Bynum might even be willing to give someone only a one-year contract for him, but it’s unlikely to coming cheaply, and simply not worth the hassle for a player who is hitting Greg Oden level of injuries to his knees, but at least it’s coming after actually having a worth mentioning NBA career.
There is the Exhibit 3 exception, which allows teams to sign players with injured pasts to a multiple year deal but let them go if he doesn’t play for them, or hardly gets on the floor as his health issues continue. Someone will go for Bynum, although probably not for the $15 million he wants each season. Big men are hard to find and when healthy, Bynum is one of the best in the league, at least offensively, averaging 18.7 points last season for the Lakers, getting over 30 minutes a night for the first time in his career, and probably for the last time.
There are other option, possibly with less of an upside, but without the cost and other complications that may arise from signing Andrew Bynum, who isn’t exactly a non-distraction type of player. They have a good thing going for them in Houston, with a young core that seems to be quite “together.” No need in ruining it by bringing in a huge question mark like Bynum into the equation.