By: Scott Burks
We have all heard about the much-ballyhooed trade that rocked the NBA world by now: the four-team trade that sent Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers for some picks and a couple of scrubs. The part of the four-teamer that folks didn’t pay as much attention to was the Philadelphia 76ers getting Andrew Bynum.
As a fan of an Eastern Conference team (my New York Knicks), I believe this trade favors the 76ers more in the immediate future AND in the long run.
First of all, the Sixers landed arguably the second-best center in the NBA behind Howard – ESPN First Take’s Skip Bayless would argue Bynum is the better center. If you looked closely at the Eastern Conference teams last season, most of the contending teams went small - the only playoff team with any size was the Indiana Pacers. I have long said that the Sixers needed a presence down low to help take the pressure off its shooters. Bynum will help with Philly’s offensive rebounding, something they sorely lacked last season.
It also gives the Sixers a legit presence of defense. Gone are the days where the overrated and overpaid Samuel Dalembert flopped around in the post. Philly has a bonafied 7-footer in Bynum who could get those defensive rebounds and if motivated, block some shots and deter opponents from driving the lane.
I could easily picture Bynum helping the Sixers contend in the Eastern Conference next season – let alone the Atlantic Division. The Boston Celtics play small and are old. My Knicks may never get it together. The Brooklyn Nets have a good team on paper, but Brook Lopez is not big enough to handle Bynum. The Nets will never be more than a fourth-seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Simply put, the division is the Sixers’ for the taking thanks to Bynum. And I think Doug Collins is the right coach to get the best out of Bynum. Collins will make sure that Bynum will be to go-to guy on offense. No more playing third or fourth-fiddle on the Lakers.
While Bynum’s desire of becoming great is the ultimate wild-card, Philly fans everywhere have reasons to be jubilant.
Scott Burks is author of the sports blog “The Klown Times”. Follow him on Twitter @klownchyld_1906 or like “The Klown Times” on Facebook.