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Cavaliers (2-7) at 76ers (5-4) - Game #10

Cavaliers struggling early, but at least they didn't trade for Sixers center Andrew Bynum.

OPENING TIP


Remember when the Cavaliers almost traded for Andrew Bynum?


No one’s really saying how close the Cavs actually came to obtaining Bynum from the Lakers in the off-season, but there’s no doubt they were involved in talks. Instead, Bynum was shipped to Philadelphia in a deal that send Dwight Howard from Orlando to the Lakers.


And Bynum hasn’t played. Not preseason, not now, not once. And no one really seems to know when that will change, with Bynum’s knee issues seemingly getting worse by the second. It’s as if his knees are made of scrambled eggs.


Now, imagine if the Cavs had traded for Bynum. The cost likely would’ve been something along the lines of Anderson Varejao and a first-round draft pick, potentially a lottery pick. Imagine Bynum not being able to play. Imagine the Cavs not having Varejao, not having Bynum, not having anything at all to show for their best veteran and other fine assets.


Granted, Bynum will probably play at some point. He has to, right?


And the 76ers will likely turn a corner once he does. When healthy, you could make the case that Bynum is the game’s best center -- certainly top two along with Howard.


Right now, the Sixers are far from bad. Point guard Jrue Holiday is off to a career start, and third-year guard Evan Turner and several others have had their moments.


But the Sixers aren’t everything they hoped they could be, not yet. Things would be a lot worse for a team like the Cavs, a team that values its assets and possesses a strong desire to see this process through.


Again, this still may work out for the Sixers. With a healthy Bynum, they become instant contenders.


But it’s worked out well for the Cavs, too. If they’re going to take risks, they’d better darn well be calculated.


It just goes to show that sometimes, the best trades are the ones you never make.


VENUE


Wells Fargo Arena, Philadelphia


TIP-OFF


6 p.m. EST


TELEVISION


FOX Sports Ohio HD (Cavaliers Live pre-game show begins at 5:30 p.m.)


RADIO


Cleveland - WTAM-1100 AM (broadcast begins at 5:30 p.m.)


PROBABLE STARTERS


Cavs


C – Anderson Varejao; PF – Tristan Thompson; SF – Alonzo Gee; SG – Dion Waiters; PG – Kyrie Irving. Coach: Byron Scott.


76ers


C – Kwame Brown; PF – Thaddeus Young; SF – Evan Turner; SG – Jason Richardson; PG – Jrue Holiday. Coach: Doug Collins.


NOTABLE


The Cavs have won eight of 10 in Philly. … They enter Sunday’s game as the NBA leader in fewest second-chance points allowed (8.1). … Part of that, however, may be because opponents are connecting on their first chance. … Turner, the No. 2 overall pick out of Ohio State in 2010, is averaging 10.7 points and a career-high 7.6 rebounds. … Cavs guard Daniel Gibson has hit double figures in scoring in four of his last five games. In the one game he didn’t hit double figures, he didn’t score at all. … Waiters’ 14.7 ppg is third among rookies. He also leads all rookies in three-point percentage (46 percent). … The Sixers lead the all-time series, 97-87.