Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
The Sixers were an unexpected participant in the Dwight Howard blockbuster. Now Andrew Bynum changes just about everything in Philadelphia.
We love Iguodala here, but he was largely unappreciated by most Sixers fans and, in spite of how great he is, Andre's not the guy you build a team around. Moving him (and Vuce -- I'm just thrilled I don't have to pretend I know how to pronounce his name anymore) was absolutely necessary for a bunch of reasons. The biggest of which being the biggest human on the team, Andrew Bynum. He'll be 25 when the season starts, and he's the 2nd best center in the league. That they now have a legitimate franchise player to build a champion around is the only important thing. Until this point, they were just playing with themselves in the corner. Sure it's fun, but you don't win any championships playing pocketball with Lou Williams leading your team in scoring.
The Sixers were built primarily on defense: Philly was No. 3 in the league last season. If engaged, Bynum, acquired in the Dwight Howard megatrade, is a good defensive improvement over Spencer Hawes (who was retained but will come off the bench). In particular, with Bynum, Philadelphia has a shot at being the best defensive rebounding club in the league. The team was No. 4 last season, and kept two of its three best rebounders by percentage (Hawes, Lavoy Allen); Bynum has been even better than those fellows over his career, especially on the defensive end. Provided that the smaller positions can continue to outrebound expectations (particularly Evan Turner), the table is set in this category. (Turner split his minutes at two-guard and small forward, but had the rebound rate of an elite small forward. That's a huge luxury.)
How much better will the Sixers be?