SH Blog: Andrew Bynum practices, but will he play?

Remember what everyone was saying after the huge Dwight Howard deal? The Lakers made themselves practically unbeatable, the Nuggets got better but it wouldn’t be enough, the Sixers took a gamble that should pay off in the short term but perhaps not the long term, and the Magic got hosed.

Even with the Lakers having the season you’ve heard so much about, it still seems like the Sixers got the worst end of the deal, with the guy they planned to build the franchise around still yet to take the court. We’ve got some Andrew Bynum news for you today, and it is, as this entire saga has been, pretty mixed.

Before we get to that, check out Jan Hubbard’s take on the “Next MJ” debate, and if you’re big on the draft, or you’re a Bobcats or Magic fan, it’s time to start checking out Joe Kotoch’s top 20 draft prospects.

Now here’s that Bynum news I promised, plus all the latest from around the NBA.

  • John N. Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer has some positive Andrew Bynum news, for what seems like the first time all year: “The long and protracted wait by the 76ers to get center Andrew Bynum on the floor ended Friday as the center participated in a spirited practice, according to multiple sources. According to at least two of the sources, Bynum, who has been working out with coaches and team medical personnel exclusively, participated in a five-on-five scrimmage with teammates. Just how long the scrimmage lasted was unknown. … Earlier this week, Bynum, who has been recovering from bilateral bone bruises and weakened cartilage in both knees, told reporters that he thought he might be able to begin practicing with his teammates in one or two weeks. He also has said that he had ramped up his activity in recent days. However, if Bynum does not experience any pain on Saturday, there exists, according to one source, the possibility that he could resume practicing sooner. Oftentimes, practicing 5-on-5 is the final step for an injured player before he plays in actual games.”
  • Doug Collins isn’t getting excited, though. ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst writes: “Andrew Bynum practiced Friday afternoon with the Philadelphia 76ers for the first time since they traded for him since last August. But instead of it being a positive moment, it seemed to only depress coach Doug Collins. Speaking before the 76ers hosted the Miami Heat on Saturday, Collins said that Bynum’s brief five-on-five workout only showed how far away he is from being able to play, and hinted at just what a lost season this has been for the team. ‘He looked like a guy who hadn’t played in nine months,” Collins said. “I don’t think any bells and whistles should be sent off that he’s close to playing.’ ”
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