2012 could've been better, could've been worse as a Sixers fan. We had the high of 13 tough playoff games. We had the low of the early summer personnel moves followed by the high of the Bynum trade then the low of the Bynum injury. Looking back, you can't help but wonder what could have been. Looking forward? Well, let's talk about it.
So I think you all know where I stand on the long-term Bynum decision. When I look one, two, three or even four years out, I think the best chance this team has to make serious noise in the playoffs is with Andrew Bynum in the middle. I don't see them acquiring a player of that level in a trade, through the draft or through free agency. I don't think the team will be good enough to attract a premiere free agent (nor sexy enough to the point where a superstar on another team will force a trade to Philly). If it was my money, and the doctors were telling me anything short of "He's done," I'm going to open up the checkbook and give him whatever it takes to keep him here. All or nothing, because without Bynum, it's just nothing.
Those are my feelings on the matter, I'd like to know how many of you guys feel the same way. How many are done with Bynum already. If you think they shouldn't re-sign him under any circumstances, what's your alternative plan? How are they going to get bad enough to rebuild through the draft? What free agent are they going to be able to sign, specifically? Do you think the improvement will come internally? Basically, if you think it isn't worth the risk to re-sign Bynum, what's the alternative?
Another good topic of conversation leading up to tonight's game thread (and there will be a late night game thread), what's going on with Evan Turner? Over the past four games he's been terrible. On the season, he's had about 7 or 8 games where he's been really good, about 9 where he's been OK, and 14 where he's just been bad, or worse. Over this four-game stretch, he's looked exactly like he looked in his first two seasons in the league. Put a halfway decent defender on him and he disappears, or worse, he shoots you out of the game. Is this just a bad stretch for Turner, a return to his normal self, or something else? How long do you stick with him in the starting lineup if he continues playing like this? Do you think his decent start still gives him some kind of trade value? If so, would you move him now before he's further exposed, or do you think that's a bad idea because his early season "success" is a good indicator that he's getting used to the NBA game? I have no answers here, only concerns and questions.
Finally, the other night Ric Bucher said the Sixers thought they had a deal for Shaun Livingston, but he claimed off waivers by Cleveland before they could grab him. Do you think backup PG is the biggest immediate need for the team? If so, how badly do they need to fill it? Should they be willing to give something up to get an able body in here to provide some relief for Jrue, or is it just "grab the best you can off waivers" type of situation?
Be safe tonight, enjoy your New Year's Eve, sleep in tomorrow, because we've got a late night planned in LA.