Call it deja-vu, but when it was revealed that the Los Angeles Clippers would be hosting workouts this weekend, a workout that would feature Andrew Bynum, I began to have flashbacks, taking me back to last summer.
Who: Byron Mullens.
What: the Clippers had just agreed to a deal with the 7-footer for two seasons–the second with a player option.
Why: it was difficult to justify the addition of Mullens because teams were considerably worse when he’s on the floor, he didn’t do what the Clippers needed in regards to the roster build (defend, rebound), and the one thing he was supposed to be good at, he sucked at it (three-point shooting).
Am I calling Andrew Bynum Byron Mullens? I think I am, except Bynum is worse because of the off the court trouble that comes with him and the group of fans that solely focuses on what Bynum used to do in the NBA, somehow expecting that skill and talent to return despite him proving them wrong every time.
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And upon the news of Bynum’s workout, a memory crept to the front of my cerebral that reminded myself it was reported by Bynum’s agent earlier in the summer, that the big man is contemplating sitting out the entire 2014-15 season to repair his knee in Germany.
"The 7-foot Bynum may not be reuniting with Phil Jackson’s Knicks or any other team next season because he is seriously contemplating sitting out 2014-15 to undergo the Germany-based knee therapy called “The Regenokine Program’’ that would require an extra long rehab, according to his agent David Lee. But he could be in play for the following season."
I may not be a doctor (I’m not), but if Bynum is considering heading overseas in to undergo a complicated surgical procedure, this may be a glaring red light trying to warn all who may consider Bynum as a free agent option at some point in the upcoming seasons that he isn’t healthy. Because healthy players don’t get surgery that requires ‘extra long rehab’.
Is Bynum able to play? Probably. If he made the Clippers, he’d be the fifth big in the rotation meaning minutes would come far and few–foul trouble, specific matchups, injury. The true question in regards to Bynum’s play is whether he can be effective because there’s a clear difference between being on the floor and being on the floor and producing. All last season, the Clippers shuffled through bigs who failed to deliver.
Maybe I’m getting too worked up over a workout. It’s possible, but the thought of Bynum being a contributor for the Clippers should scare fans. Following the Dwight Howard blockbuster trade, we’ve watched Bynum trudge through three franchises, crippling each–the lack of responsibility and self-awareness in Philadelphia, the coaching clashes in Cleveland, just being bad in Indiana. The off-the-court issues won’t be a problem in LA. They’ve a stable enough core unlike Indiana to correct the issue before it gets out of hands with veterans such as Chris Paul, Matt Barnes, and Doc Rivers in place. But on the court it’s hard to justify Bynum taking away minutes from DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, or Spencer Hawes.
Hopefully it’s just a workout and nothing more. I’ll keep convincing myself it’s just that.