Such a move bodes well for Philadelphia on two fronts.
It gives them a much-coveted center in Bynum, and it alleviates the logjam of wing players that developed on the Sixers roster this past season.
Now all of a sudden, Philadelphia has the versatility to hurt teams in both a half-court set with Bynum in the post or pick-and-pop action with Spencer Hawes, in addition to getting out to run in transition the way they did this past season with the likes of Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner on the wings.
Boston’s run atop the Atlantic Division — five straight years and counting — may be legitimately threatened.
“I still see Boston as the team to beat in the Atlantic,” said one NBA executive on Friday. “Philadelphia is better now, obviously. But Miami getting Ray [Allen] out of Boston gives them something they didn’t really have last year, and that’s quality, veteran depth. They’re still the team to beat. Boston and Indiana have great depth as well. And everybody seems to be writing off Chicago. Big mistake. They’ll be right there, too. Like I said, Philly’s going to be better. But there’s a lot of teams they have to get past, and I’m not convinced they’ll do it.”
Can we ease back the throttle on the “Andrew Bynum makes Philly a threat to win the division” talk?
I’m not denying that Andrew Bynum is a beast. Facing him four times a season won’t be fun. But let’s not forget the Sixers have lost two explosive scorers from last season’s squad – Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams. And while they’re picking up a dominant defensive presence in the middle, they’ve lost one of the top wing defenders in the game. Iggy gave Paul Pierce fits.
The veteran leadership of Elton Brand is also gone. Replaced by Kwame Brown. [Insert joke here]
The 76ers are talented, but Doug Collins has a big challenge with the chemistry of this roster.
The Atlantic Division ain’t gonna be a cake-walk, but my money is still on the Celtics.
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