MOST BANG FOR THE BUCK ??

Welcome to Philadelphia, Andrew.  You’ve told fans that you like the city and that’s great but have you checked out the banks?  Philly has lots of em’ and I think they will be to your liking but the question for me is, “Are you worth it?”.  

 At first glance you certainly seem to be worth it, but it’s important to see if the numbers back up intuition.  As my previous articles have stated, the numbers make the world go round.  In this case, the numbers say you aren’t worth the money.

It’s been reported that Bynum and his representative did not speak to anyone from the 76ers prior to this trade.  That isn’t a bad sign, but it’s certainly not a good one.  If Bynum doesn’t sign an extension this season, he is leaving once the season is over.  You see, the fifth year that Philly can Bynum offer is just not the Ace of Spades that people think it is.

Seriously, if you could go play with Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon and The BROW or Holiday, Turner, Jrich, Lavov and Hawes, where would you go if you wanted to both win and party?

That isn’t the only team that will be vying for his services come this off-season, but that’s at least one with a more attractive offer.

Hopefully, that doesn’t happen and Bynum stays in Philadelphia, that’s what’s best right?

If Bynum signs the 3 year extension sometime this year, it will be for $60 million.  The next 3 years Bynum would be set to make $55 million, which would be this year and the first 2 years of his extension, in his 4th year Bynum would make $21+ million.

That is a problem, a fairly large problem.  The past few seasons, many quality power forwards and centers have signed deals that pay far less then what Bynum is slated to make.  In a League with a salary cap, Bynum isn’t worth that money.  Signing Bynum to a massive extension (instead of possibly trading him at midseason) is essentially going to keep Philadelphia mediocre for the next few years.

I’m sure there will be lots of disagreement about the list. Feel free to go look at Basketball Reference, 82Games, Basketball Value, NBA Stats Cube, Synergy Sports and you will see that all the below guys are more valuable and the numbers back it up.

Here is a list of front court players who will be more valuable than Bynum over the next 3 years and how much less they will make a season the next 3 years. Bynum is set to make 55 million the next 3 seasons, regardless for where or how many years the deal is. The % what percentage they are paid of Bynum’s average salary the next 3 years.  Example, Tyson Chandler is paid 75% of what Bynum is paid.

Bynum produced 8 Win Shares (WS) in 2012, per NBA reference.  I will notate each players WS in 2012 and the % of production compared to Bynum which will be listed on the right of WS in ()

Tyson Chandler — $4.6 million less per year; 75%, 9.5 WS (118%)

Kevin Love —  $4.9 million less per year; 74%, 10 WS (125%)

*Al Horford — $6.3 million less per year; 66% 8 WS  (100%)

Kevin Garnett — $6.3 million less per year; 66%, 6.9 WS (86%)

Blake Griffin — $6.4 million less per year; 65%, 9.2 WS (115%)

Joakim Noah — $6.9 million less per year; 62%, 9 WS (112%)

DeAndre Jordan — $ 7.3 million less per year; 60%, 5.6 WS (70%)

**JaVale McGee — $7.9 million less per year; 57%, 4.1 WS (51%)

Tim Duncan — $8.3 million less per year; 55%, 5.9 WS (74%)

***Anderson Verajao  — $9.1 million less per year; 51%, 2.1 WS (27%)

Serge Ibaka — $9.3 million less per year; 48%, 6.2 WS (78%)

Ryan Anderson– $9.9 million less per year; 45%, 8.9 WS (111%)

Ersan Illyasova — $10.3 million less per year; 43%, 6.4 WS (80%)

Amir Johnson — $11.8 million less per year; 37%, 4.0 WS (50%)

Marcus Camby — $14 million less per year; 23%, 3.6 WS (45%)

*Horford produced 10 WS in 2011.  The 2012 season was approximately 80% of the 2011 season in terms of games player.  Horford produced the equivalent of 8 WS in 2012 when using his 2011 numbers.

**JaVale McGee was woefully underplayed this year.  He matched up very well against Bynum in their head to head matches and put up a 20+ PER in 7 playoff games this year against the Lakers.

***Varajeo had some injury issues last season but on a per minute level is around 60+% as productive as Bynum

There isn’t one player on that list that a knowledgeable NBA person wouldn’t take over Bynum when you factor in the money.  Is there any doubt that each of these players will be more productive than Bynum when you factor in how much more Bynum is paid?

For example, Marcus Camby, 38, played 24 mpg this year; was 1st in rebound % (3rd year in a row) and 9th in block%. Camby also has a 2:1 assist to turnover ratio the past 3 years.  Even if he slips in production the next few years, $14 million will / can buy a lot of talent in today’s NBA.  Camby, isn’t as good as Bynum but he only makes 23% of what Bynum does.  Camby was 44% as productive as Bynum this year, according to Basketball Reference

Amir Johnson, 25, has played 25mpg the past 2 years.  He has averaged 8.4 points (TS% 60) 6.4 rebounds; a better AST:TO ratio than Bynum and 1.8 combined steals+blocks per game.  He is not as good as Bynum but he is only paid 37% of what Bynum makes.  Amir was 50% as productive as Bynum this year, according to Basketball Reference.

Here are more players who are more valuable than Bynum.

Marcin Gortat makes $10.5 million less per year the next 2 seasons…he is then a free agent.

Andrei Kirilenko is owed $20 million the next 2 seasons; that’s 7 million less than Bynum

Paul Millsap makes $7.2 million this year and is then a free agent.  According to NBA Reference; Millsap produced 7.8 wins compared to 8 wins for Bynum this past season.

ZaZa Pachulia makes $11 million less this year.  Samuel Dalembert makes $10 million less this year than Bynum.  Nikola Pekovic makes $12 million less this year.  Combined these 3 guys make less than Bynum does in 2012-2013; they also produced 13.6 win shares between them last year.

If you had $17 million to spend this year and your options were either Andrew Bynum or Lavoy Allen+Spencer Hawes+7.5 million in cap space, which option would you take to get the most out of your money?

This is assuming the money is spent on a good player and not Nick Young.  The choice is easily Lavoy, Hawes and $7.5 million.

FYI: $7.5 million this off-season would have bought: Camby; Meeks; Ronnie Brewer and Birdman

The dearly departed Elton Brand wil get paid $2.1 million dollars for this upcoming season. He might get a 2yr $10 million dollar deal next off-season.  You’d be a sorely mistaken to take Bynum in 13-14 and 14-15 at $34+ million over Elton Brand at $10 million total for 2 years.

Chris Andersen is currently out of a job and a very good player. He is likely to make under $5 million dollars the next 3 seasons total; which again makes him someone far more valuable than Bynum.

If you look at guys on rookie contracts: Faried; Cousins; Monroe; Ed Davis; Derrick Favors; Gustavo Ayon; Enes Kanter and even Nik Vucevic are more valuable than Bynum. Rookies like Jonas Valunciunas and Thomas Robinson; yup; more valuable than Bynum.

That being said Bynum is likely more valuable the next 3 years then this group of players: Bosh; Dirk; Aldridge; Hibbert; Marc Gasol; Pau Gasol; Brook Lopez; Al Jefferson; Josh Smith; Bogut; Amare; Boozer; David Lee; Perkins; Biedrins.

On elite teams Bynum would be worth the money because of the additional championship equity his addition to the team would bring.  Currently, Philadelphia is not one of those teams.  San Antonia; Denver and Boston among others; are teams that make sense to pay Bynum, not Philadelphia.

Furthermore, a young team with a bunch of promising players on rookie deals would also work.  Unfortunately, Philly isn’t one of those teams either.  New Orleans and Utah are those type of teams.

Philadelphia is kind of stuck in no man’s land.  It will be extreme tough to build a contender as the team is presently constructed.  Remember, Philly isn’t likely to have a 1st round draft pick the next two seasons.  Here is what each player will count against the cap next season for what will be the 2013-2014 (we will assume the cap is $58 million).

Bynum – $17.3 million

We will assume that he signs an extension this season. He is our Centerpiece.

Thaddeus Young – $8.9 million

As I detailed in…The Thad Question

Thaddeus Young has every tool to be a superb SF.  However, DC currently has him penciled in as a Hybrid 4 which can be successful in the regular season but a negative in the postseason.  Thad will be a 76er for years to come

Evan Turner – $6.7 million

I fear that even with another sub par year from Evan Turner; he will still be on the team in 2013-2014.  The 76ers do have the player option in 13-14 so they could potentially clear ET off the cap.  If Turner’s option is picked up; he is a restricted free agent after in the 2015 offseason.

Jason Richardson – $6.2 million

J-Rich will be 32 next offseason and likely be an average SG with a player in 14-15 for $6.6 million. He can actually be traded before next offseason. The Bulls made a large mistake in overpaying Rip Hamilton and are essentially capped out the next couple seasons anyway. Philadelphia could trade Jason Richardson and $3 million to Chicago for Rip’s expiring contract.  A deal which benefits both Philly and Chicago.

For the purposes of this article, we will assume this trade is done.

Spencer Hawes – $6.5 million

Hawes has the skills to be a very good NBA player. He was the top HS recruit in the country; very good in 1 year of college and a lottery pick after. He has improved every season with a unique offensive skill set. Hawes needs to improve on defense but he is 6 months younger than Andrew Bynum and isn’t likely to peak as a player for at least 3 more years

Lavoy Allen – $3.1 million

Regardless of Allen’s performance this season which I think will be quite good, he will be on the team in 13-14 and an unrestricted free agent the next offseason

Kwame Brown – $3 million

Next off-season, Kwame can be traded along with $3 million cash to any team willing to take him on as a reserve C.  We will assume that Kwame is traded next off-season.

Arnett Moultrie – $1.1 million

History is not on the side of Moultrie; he is about 2% to be an NBA reserved Still he is cheap and reward if he actually works out

Here is the 2013-2014 76ers; and their 2015 off-season status and beyond

Bynum – $17.3 mil; 18.5 mil in 2015; 20 mil in 2016

Thad – $8.6 mil; 9.2 mil in 2015; 9.8 player option in 2016

ET – $6.7 mil; Restricted FA 8.7 mil Cap Hold in 2015

Hawes – $6.5 mil; Unrestricted Free Agent in 2015

Lavoy – $3.1 mil; Unrestricted Free Agent I’m 2015

Moultrie – $1.1 mil; 1.2 mil team option

Going into next off-season, Philadelphia would have $43.2 million committed to these 6 players.  Holiday will be a restricted free agent and assume that he signs for 5 years and $40 million and counts for $7 million against the cap in 2014, giving Philly about $8 million in cap space for free agents

Would Bynum, Holiday, Turner, Thad, Hawes, Lavoy, Moultrie along with $7.8 million in cap space, a partial mid level exception and min salary veterans win an NBA title in 2013-2014?

If Philly only signs players to one year deals next off-season, the 2014-2015 roster will be: Bynum, Thad and Holiday who will be owed $35.2 million giving the 76ers about $23 million in cap space for 2015.  It will be even less if Evan Turner is resigned.

The notable free agents that year and how old they will be to start the season

Kyle Lowry-28-PG

Stuckey-28-PG/SG

Monta Ellis-29-PG/SG

Kobe-38-SG

Deng-29-SF

Granger-31-SF

Humphries-29-PF

Andrei Kirilenko-33-SF/PF

Marion-36-SF/PF

Dirk-36-PF

Lavoy-25-PF

Spencer Hawes-26-PF/C

Pau Gasol-35-PF/C

Tiago Splitter-29-PF/C

Gortat-30-C

 

I don’t see how Philly can build a championship team with $23 million (or less if Turner is resigned) and that list of notable free agents.

That’s the next 3 years 76er fan.  It’s possible he becomes worth the money but Bynum would need to elevate his game to Dwight Howard level.  There is no reason to think that is possible, as Bynum is great but Howard is All-Time great.  As much as it sucks to hear, Bynum is not the savior of the franchise.  He is a great player who unfortunately, will be significantly overpaid.  In today’s NBA, it’s extremely tough to win with overpaid players competing against the Lebron; Durant and Howard’s on the NBA.  Bynum makes too much money; but he isn’t the only big in the NBA who does

Bynum is going to get his, but the question remains: will Holiday, Turner or Thad develop into a game changer before another 3+ years of .500 basketball have come and gone?

I look forward to reading everyone’s thoughts on this article.  For simplicity sake; I didn’t write a thorough statistical breakdown of every player that I mentioned above.  If you disagree with a player I mention, it’s in the best interest of discussion purposes that more than the eyeball test is used as your reason for thinking that parts of my article are wrong; please cite statistics in your arguments.

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