Dr. J Believes Lakers Lied to 76ers to Move Andrew Bynum

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistJune 8, 2013

Julius Erving has created a stir with his recent comments.
Julius Erving has created a stir with his recent comments.Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers were part of a deal that sent All-Star centers Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum to new teams, and Sixers legend Julius Erving believes the Lakers lied about Bynum's physical condition.

Dr. J called out both the Lakers and the Boston Celtics for their tactics in negotiating trades, according to Jason Wolf of USA Today.

When you talk to the Lakers, when you talk to the Celtics, when you talk to – well, those two in particular – the guy on the other end of the phone has his fingers crossed. So whatever he's telling you, he's not telling you the truth. He's working a deal for him. And what happened to us last year with getting damaged goods hopefully will only happen once. And that's the extent of that learning curve 

Philadelphia is regretting its part in dealing away star Andre Iguodala for Bynum and guard Jason Richardson. Bynum has yet to play a game for the 76ers after suffering multiple setbacks and will now be a free agent after the season ends.

Erving expressed his frustration over how the deal worked out, and his comments made the deal even more interesting. Did the Lakers withhold information, or are Dr. J's comments made out of frustration?

The 76ers had very little chance of re-signing Iguodala, so they made a deal for a player they thought they could sign to an extension. Bynum sounded open to staying in Philadelphia long term when he had his initial press conference with the team, but now the team is likely to move in another direction.

Finding an All-Star center like Bynum, who stands seven feet tall, won't be easy for Philadelphia. However, the 76ers shouldn't be willing to give Bynum a max contract that he is looking for.

Philadelphia did not get what they expected in return for Iguodala, and Bynum's setbacks should have the team wondering how he will hold up in the future.

Dr. J was very critical of the Lakers, but the 76ers had their chance to evaluate the trade before making it.

Bynum has been injury-prone throughout his career. He has played over 65 games in a season only once, and the 2006-2007 season was the only time he appeared in all 82 games.

The All-Star center suffered knee injuries in three consecutive seasons from 2008 to 2010, and the third injury caused him to miss the start of the 2010-2011 season. He also suffered a minor ankle injury in 2012.

The 25-year-old has averaged 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game in his career. He has played at a high level when healthy, but staying on the court has been a challenge seven years into his career.

Philadelphia knew about Bynum's injury history and still pulled the trigger on the deal. After it turned out worse than anyone could have imagined, the organization probably has regrets.

Erving got his opinion out there, but there's not much the team can do at this point. Taking on an injury-prone player is always a risk. Philadelphia has now learned its lesson.

Dr. J is entitled to his opinion, and he can say anything that he wants. The bottom line is that there is a reason the Lakers parted ways with a player who had helped them win multiple championships.


All stats are courtesy of ESPN.com.