76ers' Andrew Bynum Is Contemplating Season-Ending Knee Surgery

Tim KeeneyContributor IMarch 3, 2013

The news just keeps getting worse for Andrew Bynum and the Philadelphia 76ers

Sixers general manager Tony DiLeo confirmed on Sunday night that surgery is still an option for the center who has yet to log a game this season, via Jason Wolf of USA Today:

Philadelphia 76ers general manager Tony DiLeo said that Andrew Bynum is considering arthroscopic surgery on his balky knees and that the organization has yet to decide whether to attempt to sign the one-time All-Star center once he becomes a free agent after this season.

According to the report, if Bynum does indeed opt in to arthroscopic surgery to clean out his knees, he would undoubtedly miss the rest of this season.

This is just the newest chapter to unfold in a frustrating season for Philly fans in the Andrew Bynum saga. 

After an encouraging 2011-12 season in which he averaged 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks, the young and polarizing Bynum was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Sixers in a four-way deal that saw Philadelphia give up Andre Iguodala, Moe Harkless and Nikola Vucevic. 

With Harkless and Vucevic playing well for Orlando, that was, in retrospect, quite a bit to shell out for Bynum, but considering his talent, potential, age and position, it seemed worth it. 

That said, things quickly turned sour.

First, the Sixers hoped Bynum, who was suffering from a sore knee, could return by December 10. Then he suffered additional damage while bowling. His return date continued to be pushed back, the pessimistic outlook only growing by the day for his recovery.

The setbacks have persisted, and it appears unlikely Bynum will play a game in a 76ers uniform before he becomes a free agent this summer. 

Not only has this been incredibly frustrating for the 76ers, but it has deflated Bynum's value as well. 

The max contract he seemed guaranteed to receive is almost entirely out of the question now, and it's unclear what the interest level will be around the league in a couple of months.

Philadelphia is 6.5 games out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference and this is looking more and more like a season to forget in the City of Brotherly Love.