Who is More Valuable: Josh Smith or Andrew Bynum?

 

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers have a tough choice coming up here in a couple of weeks. After not playing at all in his first season with the team, Andrew Bynum is a free agent. The team gave up Andre Iguodala in a deal that ultimately left them with Bynum, however due to nagging injuries he was forced to miss the season.

Will the 76ers take a chance and bring him back on the faith that he can provide what he showed with the Los Angeles Lakers? Or will they go after another big name free agent instead?

Josh Smith has been on the trade block with the Atlanta Hawks for quite some time now it seems. He will finally get his wish, though, as he enters the open market this summer looking for a max contract.

The question for Philadelphia is, which one would be worth investing in more?

Smith presents a lot of matchup problems, with the vertical leap high enough to swat the league’s best centers and the agility to guard a small forward. His inconsistency is what has held him back from being the best product of himself that he can be. At times he decides to shoot too many jumpers instead of taking the ball inside where he can get to the rim.

He is a great rebounder and shot blocker, and a decent scorer when taking the ball inside the paint. But, isn’t that what Bynum is also? Bynum is a fantastic rebounder and shot blocker himself, and does all his damage in the paint offensively. It’s rare that a true prototypical center comes around often anymore, and Philadelphia could have themselves one if they so desired.

The issue with Bynum is health. He has never really been able to stay healthy for an extended period of time and at only 25 years old that could prove to be a problem. Will the surgeries underwent ultimately provide him the healing and strength to become what he was prior to getting hurt?

At this point, it’s a tough call for Philadelphia. Smith wants a max contract and Bynum’s market is somewhat not necessarily established yet. He would like to think he qualifies for a max deal, but the questions about his health may prove otherwise.

If the 76ers want a sure thing between the two of them, they might want to go with Smith. He can stay healthy and brings a totally different aspect to the game that Philadelphia does not have at the moment. But, if they’re feeling risky — and this risk could prove high reward — the 76ers may try to bring Bynum back and see what he can do at full strength.

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

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