So what now?
That’s the question many Sixers fans are asking, as the harsh reality of Andrew Bynum’s prognosis begins to sink in. With each passing ominous update, which lately seems to come with all the anticipation of a root canal, the likelihood of Philly relying on its marquee acquisition any time soon – if at all – fades like Spencer Hawes after a contract extension.
And just like that, although we’re staring at a team with a respectable 10-6 record, expectations have lowered from contender status to, most likely, where they were last season before their makeover: a better-than-average squad that maxes out in the second round.
But even Bynum’s return does not answer every question mark surrounding this team. Sixteen games in, and glaring weaknesses exist in the form of inconsistent shooting and spotty defense.
So what next? They make a deal as groundbreaking as the one which brought the mercurial center to town mere months ago.
So, yours truly decided to play with every basketball fan’s favorite time-waster, ESPN.com’s NBA Trade Machine, and came up with the following gems, all of which should instantly transfer the Sixers from could-have-beens back to will-be's. Each trade passes Trade Machine muster, meaning that all players’ salaries on both sides match up to make any of these fantasy trades a potential reality.
With that said, let the wheeling and dealing begin…