Its been 75 days now since the blockbuster, four-team trade that sent Andrew Bynum from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Philadelphia 76ers (and Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic to the Lakers along with 10 additional players and several draft picks) has taken place and the Sixers have still yet to test drive their new toy out at center.
The reason Bynum has missed all seven of Philadelphia preseason games thus far and probably will miss their regular season opening contest with the Denver Nuggets at the the Wells Fargo Center on October 31 is because of lingering pain in Bynum’s right knee that the team doesn’t want to take any chances with.
Sixers general manager Tony DiLeo said “He’s a big investment for our team. We want to be cautious.” DiLeo also said “We’ll just have to talk to Andrew everyday and see how he’s feeling. When he is pain free, that’s when he’ll start basketball activities”.
Who can blame DiLeo and the Sixers way of thinking when it comes to arguably the second or possibly third best center in the NBA. Philly shouldn’t rush him one bit the NBA season is a marathon, not a sprint and the Sixers who many (including myself) predict will make some serious noise this postseason would much rather have a healthy Bynum in April and May then in October and rushing him back now could jeopardize that.
If Bynum isn’t ready by opening night then the Sixers are prepared to start Lavoy Allen at center instead of moving Spencer Hawes over to the center position. Philadelphia has gone 6-1 so far this preseason which has also taken some of the pressure off of Bynum and head coach Doug Collins to attmept to rush him back out there until he is truly ready to play at 100%.