76ers face unsure future waiting for Bynum

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 14, 2013 at 4:24 pm •  Published: January 14, 2013
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Bynum, who averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds last season, would be worth the wait if he matched those numbers.

"We've got Andrew Bynum, All-Star," Young said. "He's a great player and we're willing to wait on him each and every day. He's definitely a focal point of what we're trying to do. He's definitely, 'The guy.' I wouldn't rather have anybody else."

Lavoy Allen and Kwame Brown haven't come close to filling Bynum's numbers at center. Allen has taken a big step back from his rookie season and is averaging only 6.4 points and 5.3 rebounds. Before their 107-100 win over Houston on Saturday, the Sixers ranked 27th in the NBA in scoring (92.2 points) and have regularly failed to even reach 90 points over the last six weeks. They scored more than 89 points for the first time in six games against the Rockets.

Not exactly what CEO Adam Aron expected when he touted at Bynum's arrival, "The Sixers are once again the talk of the town."

The Sixers have lost 13 of their last 17 games but a soft slate of games this week against New Orleans and Toronto could help turn that around.

The struggles haven't fractured the locker room under coach Doug Collins, and the tight unit has bounced back from swoons before.

"We're not going to splinter," Collins said, "not as long as I'm the coach."

DiLeo has repeatedly said he would make the Bynum trade again. What else would he say? Bynum is in the final year of his contract and would love nothing more to return to help the Sixers win and prove he's healthy enough to merit a $100-plus million deal in the summer.

Lost in the shuffle of the Sixers dumping Elton Brand, Lou Williams and Andre Iguodala was their decision to send Nikola Vucevic to Orlando as part of the four-team Bynum trade. Vucevic fell out of Collins' rotation at the end of last season and played in only one of their 13 playoff games. The 7-footer is sixth in the NBA in rebounds (11.0) and is making only $1.76 million — scraps compared to the $16.75 million Bynum will earn this season.

Bynum is eligible for a five-year contract after July 1, once he becomes an unrestricted free agent. The Sixers can offer Bynum more years and money than any other team. With good reason, they want to know what kind of Bynum is on the market: The L.A. All-Star or the Sixers' Sidelined Center.

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