NBA notes: With Bynum, Sixers standing tall
When the Philadelphia 76ers picked up Kwame Brown and re-signed Spencer Hawes, they had no idea they would also land Andrew Bynum.
But that’s what happened, as the Sixers obtained Bynum from the Lakers in a four-way trade last week. Bynum, Brown and Hawes are all centers, with Bynum standing at least 7-foot, and Brown and Hawes each at 6-foot-11.
Throw in Lavoy Allen, a second-year man who surprised during his rookie season, and you could even say Sixers coach Doug Collins has a whopping four centers at his disposal. This in a league where most teams would kill for just one.
Initially, the Sixers had planned to start Brown at center and try Hawes at power forward. This would’ve been a major experiment in itself, as Hawes has never played anywhere but the pivot.
Then came the Bynum trade.
He’s the best center in the East, the go-to guy on a team that had previously been lacking in that area. Brown and Hawes, meanwhile, are mostly serviceable — but each capable of erupting in his own way.
Now, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Sixers went with a starting front court that includes Bynum and Hawes (with Brown coming off the bench) to begin. Question is, can that sort of unorthodox lineup that includes starting two centers really work?
It’s worth a shot . . . but it seems unlikely for the long-term.
Oh, and let’s not forget first-round pick Arnett Moultrie, a 6-foot-11 power forward whom the Sixers obtained after Miami drafted him No. 27 overall.
That leads some around the league to believe either Brown, Hawes or Allen will be made available come the February trading deadline, if not the end of training camp in October. At the very least, some teams with holes in the middle plan to start placing calls.
The Sixers also have plenty of functional components at the wing spots — with Thaddeus Young, Dorrell Wright and Evan Turner capable of playing small forward, and Turner, Nick Young and Jason Richardson capable of playing small forward or shooting guard.
With the exception of Bynum at center, and Jrue Holiday at point guard, the Sixers are likely to have some intense training camp battles for the other starting spots. The fallout could result in a whole lot of shaking going on.
On top of all that, Bynum will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. While he can earn a bigger payday by sticking with the Sixers, he’s still expected to test the market. Much of that, of course, depends on how the season shakes out.
So the Sixers are stacked, particularly with big men, putting them in an ideal position to see what works, what doesn’t, and coming out a winner either way.
• Minnesota is one team said to be on the lookout for a real center to position next to All-Star power forward Kevin Love. While it’s too soon to have reached out to the Sixers, they have placed calls to teams to see who might be out there, several sources told FOX Sports Ohio. But it seems all discussions have been exploratory and have even subsided in recent weeks.
• Right now, the only two true centers on the T-Wolves’ roster are Greg Stiemsma and Nikola Pekovic. Each seems more suited for a backup role.
• Don’t put any stock in the recent Internet rumor suggesting the Timberwolves and Cavaliers are talking about a deal involving Wolves forward Derrick Williams and guard Luke Ridnour, and Cavs big man Anderson Varejao. A Wolves team executive said no such conversations have taken place.
• Back to Bynum. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, he will head to Germany in September to have an “experimental procedure” performed on at least one knee, possibly both. Bynum played in 63 of 66 games last season, but missed time early in his career following surgery on both knees (left in 2007-08 and right in 2009-10).
• Athletic big man Chris Andersen, recently amnestied by Denver, is said to be open to signing a one-year deal. Reports suggest he’s drawing plenty of interest around the league, having already been offered deals in the $1.2 to $5 million range.
Follow Sam Amico on Twitter @SamAmicoFSO