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Andrew Bynum’s Injury Presents Yet Another Risk for Philadelphia 76ers

dfavale March 14, 2013 Dan Favale No Comments

For the Philadelphia 76ers, there is both good news and bad news.

According to John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Andrew Bynum’s contract for this season is insured against his knees, which is good news:

If there is some good news to be gleaned from the 76ers’ experience with Andrew Bynum, it’s that they won’t be on the hook for all of the $16.9 million the inactive center will be paid this season.

“There is a leaguewide insurance that he’s under,” Sixers president Rod Thorn said Wednesday before the team hosted the Miami Heat. “There is some relief along those lines.”

Thorn did not say how much of Bynum’s salary would be covered by the insurance. However, he said that the Sixers would get full relief because there are no preexisting conditions that would prevent Bynum’s coverage.

“No, he’s under the full protection,” Thorn said.

I know how concerned all of you are with an NBA’s teams finances (kidding), so you can all breathe easy. In all seriousness, though, this at least means Philly doesn’t have too much of an excuse to taper its spending looking ahead. The whole “we had to pay for Bynum’s contract out of pocket” argument won’t work.

The bad news?

Bynum’s contract is innsured this season. I’m no psychic, but I’d hazard his next contract won’t be insured for a dime, adding to the Sixers’ already complicated moral dilemma.

Remaining in cahoots with Bynum was always considered a risk. He could never return to form and the Sixers would have attempted to rebuild around an unfit body. What many (including myself) have neglected to mention, is that insurance will come into play as well.

We all remember the Amar’e Stoudemire debacle of 2010, when the New York Knicks handed him $100 million, knowing that his contract couldn’t be insured because of the pre-existing conditions in his knees. Bynum seems to be headed down that same path, and look how Stoudemire’s turned out.

And now (well okay, always) not only do the Sixers have to decide whether they’re willing to take a chance on Bynum’s health/potential, they have to figure out whether they’re comfortable paying out of pocket if he goes bust. From there, Bynum becomes a drain on their salary cap, and one on their wallets as well. Paying tens of millions of dollars to a player who doesn’t play is hardly good business.

I still firmly believe Bynum is going to get a max deal. James Dolan’s Knicks don’t have any cap space, but there will be at least one (probably more) teams willing to throw piles of money in Bynum’s direction. I’m just not sure if it’s going to be the Sixers. And I’m not sure if it should be.

What has Bynum done for them besides cause heartache, dash their championship dreams and collect a lucrative paycheck? What’s the benefit of signing him under such tumultuous conditions?

Even I know they’re are still benefits, so that may be going a little far, but at this point, I’m not sure the benefits outweighs the risk right.

And with Bynum, I’m not sure they ever will.

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.

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