He seems more interested in growing his hair to look like Fletch and going bowling than rehabbing his knee and proving himself to a new employer in a contract year.
I have always been a big fan of Bynum and his game, even as questions about his conditioning, drive, and maturity always persisted, however, his tenure with Philly has been the antithesis of impressive. Word is that Bynum’s knees are starting to feel better, which is good for the Sixers but better for Bynum. He’ll need to play to get a max contract, and Philly actually needs to see if he fits with Jrue Holiday and Turner before they give him one.
Frankly, it hasn’t been all that much better for the Nuggets. They traded Afflalo, Harrington, and a first-round pick and got back Igoudala, who hasn’t been all that much of an upgrade from Afflalo, which really makes this deal look bad.
Harrington’s partially guaranteed contract is great trade capital and first-rounders, even low ones, are very valuable in the new ultra-punitive luxury tax era.
Igoudala has played his trademark defense, but he’s been a mess offensively. He’s shooting 44% from the field, 2 points under his career average and he’s turning the ball over in excess of 3 times per game, which is almost a full turnover per game above his career average.
The Nuggets have been average and Igoudala has struggled to adjust, which is troublesome. The Nuggets are a team without a go-to guy on offense. Their system is designed for an ensemble approach. Igoudala’s very poor shot selection has been a detriment.
Denver GM Masai Ujiri doesn’t lose a lot of trades, but you may have got him on this one.
The Lakers’ end of things hasn’t exactly simulated the nightly parade of excellence they conceived when they traded Bynum, Christian Eyenga, Josh McRoberts and a first-rounder for Howard, Duhon, and Earl Clark.
Howard clearly doesn’t look like himself in recovering from back surgery.
He’s athletically compromised at this stage.
He certainly can make his way back to his old form, but he’s got a ways to go.
The other problem with Howard has been the Lakers’ hiring of Mike D’Antoni. With pleasing players on the list of criteria in making their hire, they’re at serious risk to lose Howard when his contract expires at the end of the season.
And that will be the time to evaluate this trade.
So, Rob, when you look at how everyone else in this mega-deal is struggling with their new pieces in one way or another, all of a sudden Vucevic’s rebounds, Afflalo’s defense, Harkless’ athleticism and a handful of first-rounders isn’t such a bad haul for Dwight Howard.
You hired an impressive young coach who appears to have a knack for developing players.
I thought you were crazy when you made the Howard deal.
What appeared to be indecision and panic, was really just the youngest GM in the league being crazy like a fox.
Congratulations … so far.
Brian Geltzeiler is the executive producer and co-host of SheridanHoops radio, and the editor of hoopcritic.com. His father, Burt, was an elite college basketball player for Newark Rutgers in the late 40′s and was drafted by the Tri-City Hawks (now Atlanta) in 1950 by their GM Red Auerbach. You can follow Brian, who lives in Livingston, N.J. with his wife and 4 children, on Twitter.
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