Good morning! The Sixers have Andrew Bynum now. He will likely be with the team for the next 6 years, so you better start liking him pronto. Providing the league doesn't nix the deal, which would completely incapacitate me for months. Anyway, since Bynum isn't a guy we've seen too much of, we turned to our friends at SBN Lakers blog Silver Screen & Roll to get their take on the enigmatic large person.
Ever since Andrew Bynum's breakout period in 2007-08, the Laker front office kept busy fielding and turning away a steady stream of trade offers for him. Despite his injury risk and occasional acts of immaturity, Kupchak refused to trade him for anyone except Dwight Howard. That tells you how highly the Lakers thought of him. If Orlando had sent Howard elsewhere, the Lakers would've been happy to sign Drew to a max extension and make him the centerpiece of the post-Kobe era. He really is that talented, and even though it feels like he's been around forever, he's not even 25 years old yet.
Bynum was probably the best player on the 2010-11 Lakers. Certainly the best stretch of his career was after the 2011 All-Star Game, when he led the Lake Show to 17 wins in 18 games. When he puts it all together like he did then, his game is a thing of beauty. He's capable of eliminating an opponents' entire attack within a 10-foot radius of the rim. On offense, his touch and footwork have only improved over time. In the playoffs last year I thought he relied too much on his left-handed jump hook, but the nature of that complaint tells you how good he is. How many big man even have a lefthanded jump hook?
He does have a real talent for knuckleheadedness, though. For the most part it's annoying but ultimately not the end of the world - like his parking in a handicapped spot at a grocery store or launching a random three up in Golden State. He did manage to get through this past season without a new suspension from the league, so that's a good sign. Drew's never struck me as a bad guy - just someone who gets bored too easily and whose judgment deserts him at times. To me there's no question his extraordinary combination of size, skills and youth make him worth the risk, even at a max salary. He might not ever be as good as Dwight, but he's the next best thing. Philly got itself a damn good player.
Needless to say, I'm about as excited as it gets. You know who has a lefthanded jump hook? My dad. Only it never goes in, and he's 5'10.
Today is a great day. Hug the next seven-footer you see. And watch your handicap placards. Drew's coming to town.
P.S. We also had an emergency podcast last night.