Philadelphia 76ers management has Andrew Bynum to thank before trading away another star player, such as Evan Turner. Bynum’s latest antics should teach the Sixers about gambling away potential for a player with a troubled past.
The Sixers will probably be wiser from now on, after making terrible personnel decisions throughout history. General manager Sam Hinkie has made some smart moves so far, just by staying still. He didn’t pull the trigger on the Omer Asik deal just to acquire a player who could potentially give the Sixers some size, but had a fallout with his current team, the Houston Rockets.
While trading away a valuable asset like Nikola Vucevic just to acquire a headache in Bynum was a bad move, the Sixers have gotten smarter. They allowed Bynum to walk, waived draft-bust Kwame Brown, and went bargain shopping for inexpensive talent in preparation for next season.
The Cleveland Cavaliers signed Bynum this summer, but have dealt with a storm of problems with him. The Cavs have suspended the controversial 7-footer for an undisclosed reason and are rumored to be looking to move him.
The Sixers, on the other hand, have one tough contract remaining in Jason Richardson, who has been out all season. The good news is that he’ll be an unrestricted free-agent after this season.
Previous questionable decisions have set the franchise back years in the past. The long list includes giving away Hall-of-Famer Wilt Chamberlain for practically nothing, trading for an often injured Jeff Ruland, and more recently, dealing Allen Iverson for the unhappy Andre Miller and underachieving Joe Smith.
Hinkie has made some terrific decisions, with trading for promising draft pick Nerlens Noel, trading for explosive sixth man Tony Wroten, and drafting rookie phenomena Michael Carter-Williams.
The Sixers have work to do. At least they laid the groundwork without being held back by bad contracts.