5 Reasons the Philadelphia 76ers Must Lock Up Andrew Bynum Long-Term
Unfortunately for the 76ers, a nagging knee injury and a bowling mishap have kept the seven-footer out of uniform for the entire season so far, with no end in sight.
Now, the 76ers are discussing a long-term deal for the afro-donning superstar. Is that really a good idea? Of course it is!
Philly fans, if you aren't sold on a long-term deal for Bynum, read this and put your mind at ease.
1. They Don't Have Any Big Guys
One of the biggest reasons that Philly needs to lock up Bynum for the future is the 76er depth chart. Without Bynum, the 76ers are very thin at the center position.
The other two centers on the team are Lavoy Allen and Kwame Brown. Allen has started most of the games for the Sixers this season and is certainly no Andrew Bynum.
Allen is averaging just under six points per game, along with almost four rebounds in his second year.
Kwame Brown is, well, Kwame Brown. Brown is playing under 15 minutes per game and isn't contributing much offensively or defensively.
With no big-name centers on the roster, the 76ers need to lock up Bynum so they can compete with other big men and not have to worry about the fifth spot on their depth chart.
2. They Need a Solid Big Man to Win Their Division
The 76ers need to keep Andrew Bynum around if they want to have a chance at winning the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference.
Let's look at the other teams in the Atlantic Division. The 76ers are tied for third with the Boston Celtics at 8-6. The surprising 9-3 New York Knicks sit at the top, with the 8-4 Brooklyn Nets in second place.
On those teams are some of the best big men in the Eastern Conference and maybe even the NBA. The Celtics have Kevin Garnett, the Nets have Brook Lopez and the Knicks have Tyson Chandler and Marcus Camby at the five spot.
To guarantee a playoff spot, you need to win your division. If the 76ers don't have Bynum to compete with the other great centers in their division, they'll have a hard time winning the Atlantic.
3. He Wins Games
In Andrew Bynum's time with the Lakers, Kobe and the boys had under 42 wins just one time. From 2007 to 2010, they were in first place in the conference.
If Andrew Bynum knows how to do anything, it's win. In recent history, the Lakers have been a force to be reckoned with in the West, and a lot of that success can be attributed to Bynum, who averaged over 11 points and just under eight rebounds per game.
Since Bynum started his career with the Lakers in 2005, the 76ers have had a season over .500 just one time.
Bynum's experience with a winning team will be huge for the 76ers franchise as they continue to rebuild their team.
4. He's a Matchup Problem for the Elite East Teams
The 76ers need to lock Bynum up for the foreseeable future because he's an issue for the elite teams in the Eastern Conference.
Miami is the best team in the East right now with a 10-3 record. Coming off an NBA Championship, LeBron and the Miami Heat are the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.
Last season Bynum played very well against the East. In two games against Miami, Bynum averaged 15.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. He averaged similar numbers against Boston and the Indiana Pacers.
Bynum has had success against the defending NBA Champions and other good teams in the East. Instead of taking on the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and other elite Western teams multiple times a season, Bynum will play against teams that he's had a lot of success against more often.
5. He Instantly Improves the Team
The biggest reason that the Sixers need to sign Bynum to a long-term contract is that he instantly makes them better.
Bynum will improve Philly in almost every category. The Sixers have been using their youth and athleticism to earn an 8-6 record but haven't been able to put up many points, averaging just 91.3 points per contest, which is 27th in the league.
Bynum will be able to help offensively and give them a viable option down low. Even now, one of the main big guys for Philly, Spencer Hawes, is more of a perimeter player. Having Bynum on the block will improve the offense.
Defensively the Sixers have been outstanding, allowing just 92.8 points per game, which is 5th-best in the league. Adding Bynum's 11.8 rebounds per game and almost two blocks per contest will put their defense over the top.
Keeping Bynum in Philadelphia is exactly what the 76ers need to become a dominant team in the Eastern Conference again. If he can stay healthy, they'll be a force to be reckoned with in the NBA.