Let's not forget the level of impact that Andrew Bynum can have on a basketball game.
We were distracted from that by his struggle to return from knee injuries, his increasingly ridiculous hairstyles and his penchant for throwing strikes in the bowling alley, but that's part of the past now. Bynum is a free agent, and he could certainly return to form for the 2013-14 campaign.
During the 2011-12 season, the last in which Bynum played, he put together a larger gap between his PER and PER allowed than that produced by any other player on the Los Angeles Lakers, including the legendary Kobe Bryant.
According to 82games.com, Bynum's individual PER was 23.5, and he allowed opposing centers to post a PER of 14.2. That's a phenomenal set of numbers, one that accurately portrays just how valuable he was to L.A.'s cause when healthy.
Again, let's not forget that when this season ends and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Signing a dominant big man is the easiest way to suddenly vault into the realm of competitive teams, and IF Bynum is healthy, that's exactly what will happen when he signs on board with a new squad. Unfortunately though, the capital letters of "IF" are necessary because it does indeed remain a huge hypothetical.
Realistically, we don't know what to expect from Bynum. And that applies to two different parts of his free agency.
First, we don't know where he'll sign. He could return to the Philadelphia 76ers—well, kind of return—but he could just as easily sign with one of the other teams in the Association. We just don't know.
After he signs, he could either work his way back into his L.A. form, or he could remain doomed to never play again. Again, we just don't know.
Bynum's free agency is filled with mystery and intrigue, but it certainly has the potential to reshape the league.