Andrew Bynum's Potential Makes New Deal Worth Exploring Despite Injury Woes

Steven GerwelContributor IIINovember 25, 2012

October 13, 2012; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum (33) sits on the bench during a game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE
Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Two-time NBA champion Andrew Bynum was a key member of the LA Lakers last season and had an All-Star season with 18.7 points per game and 11.8 rebounds per game on average. 

Contract disputes forced the Lakers to move on from Bynum and turn their attention towards Dwight Howard, which resulted in Bynum being shipped across the country to Philadelphia. 

The Philadelphia 76ers were under the impression that they had acquired one of the better big men in the NBA, but things came to a screeching halt when Bynum went down with an off-court bowling injury. 

Now, the latest news is that Bynum's knee issues will keep him out until further notice and there's no guarantee that he'll return this season (According to USA Today via Twitter). 

76ers announce Andrew Bynum is now out indefinitely. There is no timetable for his return:

— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) November 25, 2012

The 76ers were under the impression that the addition of Bynum would beef up their power game, but now they're left with nothing other than medical bills and a tough decision. 

Bynum will enter free agency following the season, and the 76ers will be forced to decide whether he's worth another contract, or if they should shop him and perhaps get a small piece of compensation in return. 

It's a difficult decision, but perhaps the 76ers would be better off keeping the faith and giving Bynum a chance to debut in Philly. 


Is Andrew Bynum Worth the Wait? 

The 25-year-old Andrew Bynum has dealt with a number of injuries throughout his relatively young seven-year career, which understandably forces some to believe that there's no hope for health and prosperity. 

But given his experience on a winning team and his ability to produce when healthy, the 76ers need to force through the frustration and give Bynum another chance. 

Though early in the season, the 76ers are sitting with a 7-6 record and appear somewhat competitive in the Atlantic Conference. Nevertheless, it's clear that they're still lacking in certain aspects and need to look to the future. 

If Philadelphia wishes to produce a championship-caliber team this decade, management needs to take some risks and invest in players who could potentially pay huge dividends in the future. 

With Bynum, they already made that investment more than just financially. They sent 2012 first-round draft pick Maurice Harkless to Orlando as part of the trade to acquire Bynum. 

If Philadelphia has already surrendered a young and talented prospect in exchange for Bynum, it makes sense that it would try to retain Bynum with another contract, so it doesn't get nothing out of the deal. 

It's a tough call given the big man's list of injuries, but it's a risk the 76ers should be willing to take.