Harris, Sixers still interested in Andrew Bynum

Harris, Sixers still interested in Andrew Bynum

April 18, 2013, 12:30 pm
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Andrew Bynum, who did not play a game for the Sixers this season, is an unrestricted free agent this summer. (AP)

A few weeks ago, Andrew Bynum’s agent said it’s possible the center could return to the Sixers. On Thursday, Sixers owner Josh Harris didn’t rule out the possibility.

Harris – who spoke about several topics during his year-end address at PCOM, including the fact that Doug Collins will not return as the team’s head coach next season – admitted that “the Bynum thing obviously has been very disappointing.” Then, in the next sentence, added: “Of course we’re going to look at bringing Bynum back.”

“A healthy Bynum that’s playing is a needle-mover, a top-15 player,” Harris continued. “But the reality is, he didn’t play a game this season. There’s risk. We’re going to weigh the positives and the negatives and try to make a reasoned assessment of what’s appropriate for Andrew. Certainly we’re open to the prospect of bringing him back.”

Bynum, who was paid around $16.5 million this season, didn’t play a single game for the Sixers after being acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers in a multi-team offseason trade. The 25-year-old underwent bilateral arthroscopic surgery on both knees in mid-March.

Bynum will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. When asked what the best-case scenario might be for the center’s health, Harris said he preferred not to speculate.

“At the end of the day, we’re competing with [29] teams for Andrew,” Harris said. “They need to make their own assessment. I don’t want to make a medical assessment of Andrew publicly that may or may not help other teams. We’re very open and interested in Andrew coming back if we can work out something that makes sense for everyone.”

Bynum suffered several setbacks during his rehab process this year. In late February, he said he was 100 percent sure he’d play this season. A few weeks later, he reversed himself and revealed that his knees swelled up after limited activity in five-on-five practice drills. In November, Bynum aggravated his condition in a now-infamous bowling outing.

Collins, who will reportedly serve as a consultant to the Sixers, said he wasn’t sure whether he would advise the team to re-sign Bynum.

“That will be all based on health, because I don’t understand that,” Collins said. “How healthy is he? That’s the decision that has to be made.”