2013 NBA Free Agency: Philadelphia 76ers Should Keep Andrew Bynum At All Costs

 

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

A year after advancing to the second round of the NBA Playoffs, the Philadelphia 76ers finished 14 games under .500 while missing the postseason completely. They had watched a talented young guard in Lou Williams leave them in favor of the Atlanta Hawks. The thought was that the team had completed a blockbuster trade that would more than make up for their losses, bringing in former Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum.

Boy, were they wrong – dead wrong.

Bynum failed to play a single game last season while dealing with nagging knee injuries and made much more noise off the court with his infamous hair antics. It seemed like every time we saw Bynum off the court he had given himself a completely different hair style making it a little difficult to focus on his words and not his ridiculous ‘do.’

Though Bynum’s first year in Philadelphia was a bust, the 76ers must bring him back this offseason no matter the cost. When healthy, he is easily a top five center in the NBA and the 76ers need a potential superstar like that. The lack thereof has hurt them in recent years and they haven’t been truly competitive since Allen Iverson was in uniform.

In Bynum’s last healthy – for the most part – season, he averaged 18.7 points on 55.8 percent shooting, nearly 12 rebounds and two blocks per game. Despite his immaturity, Bynum can get it done on the court. It’s rare to find a complete center in this league nowadays, and Bynum can be just that.

He’s a big body and has put on some beef since entering the league, now listed at almost 290 pounds. He will get you a double-double in his sleep on most nights and can defend the basket better than most at his age. Let’s not forget, he has a long career ahead of him.

If Philadelphia wants to return to Eastern Conference competition in the 2013-2014 campaign, they need to find a way to bring back the seven-footer. I know the fans, for the most part, are sick of all of his childish off-court junk. But, the fact of the matter is, he can produce at a high level. Assuming he can come back healthy by next year, the 76ers would be wise to keep him in the city of brotherly love.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA writer for RantSports.com also contributing to the NFL. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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