NBA AM: Andrew Bynum Is Done, What’s Next?
Bynum Done, What Is Next?: The Philadelphia 76ers announced that center Andrew Bynum will undergoing arthroscopic surgery on both knees, ending his 2012-13 season, a season in which has logged no games.
“After many months of rehabilitation and consulting with numerous doctors, Andrew and the doctors treating him determined that this is the best course of action at this point,” Sixers general manager Tony DiLeo said in a statement released by the team. “We will continue to monitor and evaluate his status moving forward.”
The procedure being done is to “clean out loose bodies from within the knees in an attempt to alleviate pain and swelling.”
Bynum, who is in the final year of his contract, is considered the biggest wild card in July’s free agency mainly because of his long history with knee problems.
In Bynum’s career he has played in 392 of a possible 640 games. Said another way Bynum has missed 38.7 percent of his possible games in his eight year NBA career. Bynum has played in all 82 games just once in his career, his sophomore season.
There is no doubting Bynum’s impact when healthy, however when has he been healthy enough to truly make that claim.
Sources linked to Bynum in free agency openly question how you value him as a free agent, pointing to clauses in the Collective Bargaining Agreement which would allow a team to void his contract for certain types of injuries. But it’s stated clearly that Bynum and his agent might not agree to such a loophole in his next deal given his injury history.
So the question is not whether a team would offer Bynum maximum money in free agency, it’s how much will a team fully guarantee?
One team executive said that if Bynum’s camp would agree to some injury exclusions in his contract his club wouldn’t blink at Bynum’s upside even at a hefty price tag, it’s the question of how much of a cap hit a team will have to guarantee to get Bynum if his camp wants a fully guaranteed deal.
The 76ers will hold Bynum’s Bird rights and could offer him a five year deal worth more than $100 million, but given how badly things have gone this season would the Sixers be smart to retain him? Would Bynum’s camp agree to a deal that voids his deal if he can’t play a certain number of games due to a knee injury?
There is no doubting that someone is going to sign Bynum to a deal this summer, his upside is too great for him to fall by the way side, the question becomes how much and for how long and how exactly do you value that for a guy that didn’t log a single game this season?
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Wiggins And Parker: With the NCAA tournament getting underway today with the “First Four” taking the floor, all eyes in the NBA Draft world will shift towards names like Shabazz Mohammed (begins play Friday), Ben McLemore (also begins play Friday) and Marcus Smart (begins play Thursday) to name a few. The NCAA Tournament is typically a chance for general managers to see top prospects in a more intense and controlled environment. It’s a chance for guys teams like to really cement themselves as a legitimate draft candidates.
While the potential gems of the 2013 NBA Draft take the floor this weekend, there are two players that will be watching from home this week that could very well be the most coveted prospects in several years – Canadian sensation Andrew Wiggins and Duke commit Jabari Parker.
Wiggins is by far the most talked about of the two, but in talking to NBA scouts and talent evaluators they very well could be prospects 1 and 1A, depending on what you need.
Wiggins is a 6-7, 205 pound wiry small forward that can just flat out play. He has drawn comparisons to a physically smaller LeBron James and is viewed by most to the best draft prospect in maybe a generation.
Parker, who recently won the Morgan Wooten Male Player of the Year award, is a 6’8 224 pound forward is considered a more rounded out player.
Both prospects could be the franchise changing players that the projected 2013 NBA Draft lacks.
Players who have played with both rave about Wiggins athletic ability and comment that he is just simply unguardable. Parker is viewed as the more humble and down-to-earth of the two and more intense and focused.
While it’s never fair to put labels on players, especially players still in High School, but the word on Wiggins and Parker is they may be the closest thing to LeBron James and Kobe Bryant that we’ve seen in the draft pipeline for a while.
So while the 2013 Draft Class will get their fair share of love this week, next year’s class might feature the megastars and we didn’t even mention the Harrison Twins – Andrew & Aaron who could be the best up and coming guards in the country.
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The Evolution Of Dwight Howard: Yesterday in this space we covered the on-going maturation of Laker big man Dwight Howard in his massive fishbowl in LA. However, today even more news on Howard is emerging including Howard’s decision to part ways with long-time business advisor and cousin Kevin Samples.
Samples has been a key part of Howard’s life since the NBA draft and the two have been virtually inseparable. Samples carried the title CEO of Dwight Howard Enterprises and looked after the day to day of Howard’s business away from basketball.
“We had nine great years together,” Howard told Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register. “Just time to go separate ways.”
Howard tried to defuse the idea that the move was a change in his stance on basketball or that he somehow needed Samples to reach his goals.
“I know what I want to accomplish,” Howard said. “I’ve always written down my goals and everything I want, and I want to make sure I get ‘em. Everything I’ve lost, everything that’s gone away, I’m going to get it back.”
“He’s still my cousin, my family, so we’ll always be around each other,” Howard said. “But we just parted ways on the business side.”
Howard choosing to change his inner circle is an interesting move especially with a new contract on the horizon in LA with the Lakers.
It is also interesting to hear Howard talk about “everything that’s gone away” and getting it back.
On the surface this might seem like a trivial thing, however for those of us that endured Howard’s melodrama in Orlando, Samples played a huge and key role in how that played out and with him out of the picture with Howard things could get significantly more complicated.
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