Why did I pick Andrew Bynum before those remaining?
Most definitely because of the hair:
Yikes. The real reason I picked Bynum is because I think he has the greatest potential impact of anyone on the team, including the players we've ranked above him. There is plenty of doubt as to whether that potential will be realized, which is why he fell to this spot. But at #4 I couldn't resist taking his upside, even with Anderson Varejao, Jarrett Jack and our most recent #1 pick still available. They are all very good to excellent players, but none of them can dominate a game the way Andrew Bynum can.
What does Andrew Bynum bring to the team this year?
A couple of bum knees and hairstyles that are ever-changing yet consistently off-the-wall. But on the off chance that he actually manages to get out of his street clothes and play a few games for us, he has the potential to take our team to another level. How?
Andrew Bynum is a ridiculously large human being Seriously, look at the size of this guy:
But he doesn't simply rely on his size to assert himself. He is one of the most skilled, most efficient low post scorers in the league. Operating almost exclusively in the paint, Bynum has posted a PER over 20 and a TS% over 59% in each of the last 5 seasons he's played (his age-20 through age-24 seasons). Let's watch some of his work:
This man is a dominant force down low, and you are not going to stop him one-on-one.
The problem for opposing defenses is this: Kyrie Irving is a dominant force on the perimeter, and you aren't going to stop him one-on-one either. I honestly believe that Kyrie & Bynum could be the best inside-outside combination since Kobe & Shaq. With those two on the floor the offense can choose to attack in any way they wish, while the opposing defense has very limited options.
For example, let's put a couple shooters on the floor with them, we'll say Miles & Karasev. Add one of our elite offensive rebounders to the mix, how about Varejao. Stick the shooters in the corners or on the wings to spread the floor, while putting Varejao in the high post to run the pick & roll with Kyrie.
What can the defense do in this situation? Leaving Miles or Karasev open for three would obviously be a bad idea. But they also don't want to leave Bynum isolated in the paint, just an entry pass away from an easy bucket. So they have to make a difficult choice, and that's without even considering Kyrie & Andy running the pick & roll. There are simply too many threats. All the defense can do is pick their poison. If we happen to miss whatever open shot they give us, we still have the prospect of Andy chasing down the rebound like a madman. Keep in mind that we can run this particular offense while Jack, Dion, Tristan & Bennett are all on the bench resting.
And that's just on offense. You remember all those times last year when we talked about how much we needed someone to protect the rim, how much that would help our defense? Look at that picture again. Andrew Bynum is HUGE. His defensive skills aren't perfect, but he knows Mike Brown's system and he can protect the paint. Having someone down low that will consistently contest and block shots at the rim will allow our perimeter defense to be more aggressive and disruptive, creating turnovers and getting out in transition.
Even if Andrew Bynum doesn't play a game this year I think we can still make the playoffs. However, our team would have clear weaknesses and wouldn't really be a serious threat to make the second round, let alone the conference finals. But if Bynum is healthy for the playoffs then everything changes. We'd be right there with the Heat, Bulls and Pacers as a legitimate threat to come out of the Eastern Conference. Andrew Bynum is that good.
Get well soon Andrew.
Nobody knows. Could be gone by February, or could be signed long-term if he helps us win a championship in the next two year.