Ok, before I start Part 2 of my series, two things. One, after much thought, I will not include any possible trade candidates. There are simply too many variables (known and unknown) to explore any reasonable trade options. Two, whatever I say the best available option is at this or any role is not necessarily an option I think the Sixers should go with. This is simply an fun, killing-time exercise to see what options are out there for the team at this time. Everyone got it? Awesome! In case you need to be caught up with what I'm doing, here's Part 1.
Alright, the following are the potential candidates I see that the Sixers could realistically have AND has some chance of filling the all-important role of dominant big man:
You had to know I was gonna start this with the big kid with the funny hair, right? After everything, and Lord knows it has been a whoooooole lot, he still(!) represents the team's best chance to successfully filling this role. Three reasons: his year before last (you know, where he actually played? Yeah you're right. Too soon. My bad.) really was excellent. He was top-15 in PER, eFG%, rebound %, and win shares. (Kudos to the awesome basketball-reference.com for all stats you'll see in this post.) He'll also only be 26 when next season starts. Not only this, he could be re-signed for a relatively reasonable price. According to this ESPN.com article (Insider only, unfortunately), it says that Bynum's value is 3 years for $40 million, or $13.3 million a year. If this is truly the case and assuming (it's a huge, huge, HUGE assumption, admittedly, but still), he can stay healthy, this is definitely a bargain for a man of his talents and superstar potential.
On the flipside, though, I start with I've already just said. It's at this point a wish instead of a certainty that he can be consistently healthy. Those numbers that he put up in the 2012 season were really good, but they also came in the only season he has been able to play in at least 90% of a season. Not to mention, he produced these numbers as the third offensive option on his team and has never been the top offensive option, at least not yet. This doesn't even speak to his possible poor attitude and apathy toward basketball (FYI, I came this close to not including the word "possible")
So, as I said Andrew Bynum is currently the best option to be the Sixers' dominant big man. However, this says more about the other options than it does him. My stance on him is that I would only offer him a one-year deal. if he doesn't accept, then, happy trails, Andrew. If I had to guess, I think he will not be back here. This latest story only backs up my opinion. Still, this is only a guess. Time will only tell.
Now, there are other options, but as I said they're not potentially as good as Mr. Bynum. However, assuming he doesn't come back here, these other options may be, in the long-term, better fits for that role. These next few options are guys that the Sixers could take on Thursday in the 1st round.
- Cody Zeller
He currently ranks #11 on Chad Ford's Big Board. He also the player most associated with the Sixers in mock drafts. Not only that, he ranks very well in advanced metrics. For example, he ranks #4 in potential career WARP. However, I'm personally am not that high on him. He never impressed me watching the Hoosiers this year. He aslo doesn't rebound that well for a 7-footer or appears be tough physically or defensively. I understand for sure that the offensive potential is there for him and that could more than make him worth picking him at #11. Again, I'm just not convinced that he could ever be a all-star big man.
- Kelly Olynak
This may be a little unfair, since Zeller is more athletic than him, but I kinda group Olynak with him. This is, because like Zeller, I understand the offensive potential, but was underwhelmed whenever I watched him in game action and is not known for being tough or physical. Advanced metrics are not even crazy about him, either. He ranks 18th on Ford's big board, but 34th in potential career WARP.
- Lucas Nogueria
Here we have a long, athletic, has the potential to be a great defensive player with the tools of being at least decent offensively ,needs to add strength, and has been accused of lacking motor in his games. Since he is an international prospect, I have not been able to see Nogueria play in any actual games. I have seen clips of him, but obviously, this is not the same. This being say, though, I think I would be more willing to take him over Zeller or Olynak. Two reasons for this: if you haven't noticed, be good defensively is a big deal for me. This is, because I believe it's harder to really good defensively right away than really good offensively. I could be wrong about this, but this is what I believe. Plus, his long-term upside to me is very appealing. If the Sixers take their time with him, which they can definitely afford to do, especially regrading his offensive game, he could really be an all-star caliber stud in the middle in 2-3 years. Not only that, he ranks #7 in potential career WARP.
- Steven Adams
Everything I just said about Nogueria can be applied to this guy. Three differences, though: he's bigger (he weighs 255 lb compare to Nogueria's 220), he's a year younger, and he played here in the States the past year at Pitt. Again, really intrigued by his potential, once he gets the time to flourish. If I had to choose between him and Nogueria, though, I'd choose Nogueria. This is, because I think he has as much potential as Adams, with the added bonus of playing in more competitive games so far with his international experience. Also, on the WARP board, he's at 17, ten slots lower than Nogueria.
So, those are all the candidates I see. if you're curious why I didn't include any free agent options, I don't see Hinkie adding any big men that will have the potential of being dominant. If you think I'm wrong about that or any other things in this post, please let me know (nicely, if you can please) or any other comments you may have. Coming up next will a look at potential alpha dog scorers. Stay tuned for that.