Philadelphia currently sits with at 10-8, giving them the sixth-best record in the Eastern Conference. It’s a record that has been achieved without Bynum, as well as one that has been fueled by the All-Star like stylings of Jrue Holiday.
But let’s not fool ourselves here. The Sixers won’t be contending for any titles without Bynum. How could they? Outside of Holiday, they lack a consistent go-to scorer. They’re also putting up just 92.8 points per contest, the fourth-lowest mark in the NBA.
Sure, their defense is seventh as they allow just 94.6 points per bout, but that gives them a negative point differential. Though Philadelphia has still managed to post a record above .500 in spite of such a reality, its not going to be able to contend for a championship.
Which means it may be time for a change, time for a trade.
Or at least, that’s what head coach Doug Collins (via Tom Moore of phillyBurbs.com) appears to believe:
Let’s make a deal?
Collins said he’s willing to discuss trading for a bench scorer to boost the team’s struggling second unit.
“Would I?” Collins said. “Yeah. I would. Can I? I don’t know.”
Collins said he and Sixers management talk regularly about personnel. Of course, if Andrew Bynum doesn’t play at all this season, a bigger priority before the Feb. 21 trade deadline might be trying to acquire a big man.
It’s hard to fault Collins’ logic. The Sixers need another potent presence and if Bynum is unable to set foot back on the court, an additional big man wouldn’t hurt.
At the same time, however, that no cause for Philadelphia to be rushing into any trades now or at any time prior to the February 21st trade deadline.
I understand that this team only good, not great. But I also understand the Sixers don’t have the assets necessary—or rather the expendable assets necessary—to pull off another blockbuster. Therefore, rushing into a deal that doesn’t provide additional star-power would be shortsighted.
Yes, Bynum has been a bust thus far, but he still has the opportunity to come back and make an impact. Even if he doesn’t, however, do the Sixers really want to jeopardize the cap space they’ll have available this summer by letting him go?
The Sixers must hold all potential moves until they have a firm grip on Bynum’s future. If he’s still not on the court come February, then it becomes time to look for another big/additional scorer.
Or maybe it doesn’t. By that point, the Sixers will still be a playoff team and could opt to take their chances with this group, the idea being they’ll make a major splash in free agency.
Right now, however, all that matters is the Sixers stand pat. Unless they have a chance to acquire a star—which they won’t—they need to hold true with this roster until they have a better understanding of what it and Bynum will ultimately bring to the table.
Obviously, it’s not easy to exude patience, but it’s a practice Philadelphia must preach. It has too much riding on its future not to; it has too much invested in this current squad to abandon ship too early.
It simply has too many questions that still need to be answered.
Rendering a trade right now perplexing and potentially detrimental.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.