What Philadelphia 76ers Roster Will Look Like with and Without Andrew Bynum

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What Philadelphia 76ers Roster Will Look Like with and Without Andrew Bynum
USA TODAY Sports
Bynum's future affects the whole team

The looming question surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers is what will end up happening with Andrew Bynum and their roster.

Bynum is now a free agent after bowling his knees off to never see the court this past season, and Philadelphia is forced to pull out a Shakespeare quote:

"To re-sign or not to re-sign, that is the question." Well, it was something like that.

The Sixers will have to weigh every option and take a complete look at who they want on their roster for this coming year.

Let's take a look at what would happen if he were on the team and if he wasn't on the team for the 2013-14 season.

 

Free Agency

With Bynum:

There isn't much to say here. If Philadelphia truly believes that Bynum will be able to get back to full strength and help the organization, then there is a good chance that they'll end up attempting to sign him.

They will be getting a center with a defensive presence, unique body control throughout the paint and severe attitude problems. He is an absolute animal when he is injury-free. So much of an animal that it often overrides any personality issues that arise.

Signing a healthy Bynum would be a good move for the team, but it also leaves them with next-to-no money for remaining free agents. They would be stuck signing veterans and low-level players to minimum contracts.

 

Without Bynum:

This is where a pretty uneventful free agency would turn fun. It isn't because of the number of available players or because of their talent level.

It is because of Philly's ability to spend money to get who they want.

The Sixers struggled with consistent bench scoring, so look for that to be one of their main points of interest. A number of potential free agents come to mind, but be on the lookout for players like O.J. Mayo and Nate Robinson. These are players who are able to change the landscape of a game by only playing around 25-30 minutes a night.

Next up on this list is rebounding. Paul Millsap and Josh Smith are going to be heavily pursued, but there is a low probability of landing either one. That makes Philadelphia look toward players a tier down like DeJuan Blair or Emeka Okafor. A big name isn't needed to fill this position, just somebody who can go and get a rebound.

Last but not least is that veteran big man. Last year, Philly went with Kwame Brown, and it feels like every team ends up picking one up. It wouldn't be a surprise to see somebody like Samuel Dalembert get an offer as he has maintained some level of productivity throughout the years, and he used to play on the Sixers.

Philadelphia will be able to examine the free-agent field and extend money to those that fit best.

 

Rotation

With Bynum:

Having Bynum on the team only helps if he is able to play.

Something he wasn't able to do once last year.

With that in mind, we're going to assume that he is healthy and ready to go when we talk about what Philly's rotation would look like with him in it.

Starters

Bench

  • Spencer Hawes, C
  • Jason Richardson, SG
  • Damien Wilkins, SG
  • Kyle Korver, SF
  • Lavoy Allen, PF/C
  • Justin Holiday, PG
  • Draft Pick, PG
  • Draft Pick C

This rotation assumes that the Sixers will go with a point guard and a center in this year's draft, though that is still to be determined.

The key to the rotation is that Bynum will require some kind of larger contract, limiting what Philadelphia will be able to do in free agency. There isn't going to be much spending money after signing him, so they'll need to pick their other acquisitions carefully.

One type of acquisition that should be a sure signing is some kind of shooter. Above, we have Kyle Korver filling that role as he has played in Philadelphia before, but that person could be anybody. It's all about finding a wing who can knock down perimeter jump shots, so it'll be interesting to see who ends up as that guy.

You also may have noticed Arnett Moultrie moving into the starting role. The Sixers next coach will see Moultrie and what kind of talent he has. He wasn't given much of a shot last season, but he always produced when he saw the court. An advantage to starting Moultrie is that Philly moves Thaddeus Young back to his natural position of small forward.

There is no point in overstating it, but this rotation will only work if Bynum is healthy. The Sixers are almost guaranteed to have a repeat of last year if he isn't.

 

Without Bynum:

Playing without Bynum on the team is something Philadelphia is all too familiar with, so there won't be much of a transition here.

The Sixers will look to round out their troubled areas by signing a big man, backup point guard and somebody who can score off the bench.

Starters

  • Jrue Holiday, PG
  • Jason Richardson, SG
  • Evan Turner, SF
  • Thaddeus Young, PF
  • Spencer Hawes, C

Bench

  • Nate Robinson, PG
  • DeJuan Blair, PF
  • Samuel Dalembert, C
  • Arnett Moultrie, PF
  • Damien Wilkins, SG
  • Lavoy Allen, PF/C
  • Draft Pick, PG
  • Draft Pick, C

Picking up Robinson, Blair and Dalembert would address all of their concerns. The other great thing about it is that there is a strong chance that the Sixers would have some money left over that they could play with and end up picking up another player.

The negative aspects of this rotation immediately stand out, though.

Young playing the power forward position means that he'll be able to hold his own, but he just won't be as effective as he could be. Hawes didn't play terrible basketball this past year, however, he never played consistent enough and proved that he shouldn't be in a starting lineup. The most important issue with this rotation is having Turner playing out of position at small forward.

We all know how that recently worked out for the team.

With negatives come positives, and there are is a big one here. Not having Bynum allows the Sixers to give their rookies more minutes. There is a good chance that Philadelphia's lottery pick will be good enough to play but not to start, so easing him into his playing time will be a good thing.

 

Playing Style

With Bynum:

The 2012-13 Sixers' playing style would have been perfect if Bynum would have been playing. Instead, it felt like the team was running a style for a man who would never end up being there.

Having a healthy Bynum would prevent Philadelphia from having to change much.

Holiday would still be the decision-maker, but now, he would have a reliable inside presence. There would be much more in-and-out basketball, meaning the Sixers would have a guy who draws people into the paint, only to be able to kick it back out for a good look.

Defensively, the entire team would be able to play more intense defense. Everything from guarding the ball to denying passing lanes would be stepped up a notch.

All because they would have Bynum there to protect the basket if one of them got beat.

Bynum's presence would allow Philadelphia to play similar basketball, but at a much more efficient rate.

 

Without Bynum:

It would be time to revamp the Sixers' style of play without Bynum on the team.

They are already full of younger players with the ability to get out in transition and make plays happen, but they never seem to capitalize on this fact. A high-tempo, up-and-down offense would be necessary, seeing as how they have the athletes to do it.

Using their athleticism would also be beneficial on defense. The team could use a mix of man and zone to force bad shots and turnovers that would lead to what?

You guessed it, transition offense.

There is no point in not using your athletes to their full capability, and that would be the necessary move if Bynum weren't with the Sixers next season.

Only time will tell, though.

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