When Andrew Bynum was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Philadelphia 76ers, the majority of fans thought that the Sixers would be a much improved team. However, things in Philadelphia have not worked according to plan.
Bynum has yet to play a game for the Sixers and could be out for the entire 2012-13 season. So, although fans thought that they got the better end of the Andrew Bynum-Dwight Howard-Andre Iguodala deal, it seems like they may have actually gotten the worst end of the trade.
However, it is easy to disagree with it in retrospect, because at the time most people thought the deal was great for the Sixers. Philadelphia needed a star to build around for the future, and Bynum seemed like a legitimate option.
Without a star since Allen Iverson, the Sixers have been stuck in mediocrity for the past six seasons. This mediocrity forced the front office to improve the team in the last offseason, and fans thought they achieved that goal by obtaining Bynum.
Although it seemed like the Orlando Magic got, by far, the worst end of the deal, at least they have multiple players who are contributing to their team. Andrew Bynum has yet to contribute anything and may never play a game in a Sixers' uniform, so at least the Magic cleared some cap space and got some nice young pieces for the future.
I think that an interesting stat to compare how the four teams have been effected by this summer's blockbuster trade is the win score on basketballreference.com. Iguodala has added one win to the Denver Nuggets. Aaron Afflalo, Moe Harkless and Nikola Vucavic have added .6, .5 and .7 wins to the Orlando Magic, respectively. Dwight Howard has added 1.7 wins to the Los Angeles Lakers, while Jason Richardson has added one win the the 76ers.
It appears that the Lakers clearly got the best end of the deal as they gave up Andrew Bynum, who has contribute zero wins to the Sixers, for Dwight Howard, who has added nearly two wins to their season. However, Jason Richardson's great play thus far has allowed the Sixers to make up for the loss of Andre Iguodala, as they have both added one win to their respective teams.
However, the Sixers also gave up Vucavic and Harkless who have both made solid contributions to the Orlando Magic this season. In addition, the Sixers gave up draft picks, which also is another negative aspect of the trade for them.
Even after all of this, the most interesting aspect of this Andrew Bynum saga is the fact that Bynum is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2012-13 season. The Sixers will have a major dilemma on their hands, as they will have to either sign a guy they may not have seen play in over a year or disappoint their fans. At the same time, the Sixers won't want to fall into another Elton Brand situation, where a bad contract sets them back five years.
The best scenario for the Sixers is for Bynum to come back for at least a month of the season so they can see what they have in him. If they can get a look at him, they will be able to make a much more accurate decision when they evaluate his worth within the franchise.
Although it is too early to tell which team benefited the most and least from this blockbuster trade, it seems as if the Sixers or the Magic received the worst end of this deal. The Sixers had good intentions when they acquired Bynum, but unfortunately it has not worked out so far this season. Hopefully Bynum can get back on his feet and help the Sixers take the next step to become a real contender in the Eastern Conference.