Sixers center Andrew Bynum an early bust?

When the Sixers traded for Lakers All-Star center Andrew Bynum in August, shock waves were sent around the NBA regarding Philadelphia for the first time since 2006.

The trade that sent eight year veteran forward Andre Iguodala to the Nuggets, along with Nikola Vucevic, rookie Moe Harkless, and a protected first round pick seemed to come as a sigh of relief for Sixers fans, or at least it did in August.

Since the Sixers sent Iverson packing in December 2006, the team has been without a legitimate superstar. With the arrival of one of the game's top centers, the thought was that Philadelphia had finally filled in that missing piece with Bynum. Unfortunately for the Sixers and Philadelphia fans alike, that is still yet to be determined.

After being traded to Philadelphia, Bynum decided to undergo an "experimental procedure" on his knees in Germany. The same surgery that stars Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez, and Grant Hill endured overseas did not have the same effect on the 7'0" center Bynum.

With a bad history of knee injuries with Los Angeles, Bynum believed this procedure would save his career the year before he was due for a new contract. Shortly after the surgery, Bynum suffered what the Sixers referred to as a setback, downplaying the seriousness of the injury.

At first, the Sixers said Bynum would still be ready for opening night on October 31. Well, Bynum wasn't ready for opening night, but would the center was scheduled to return to basketball activities around December 10. This news originally had Sixers fans both worried and relieved. At least the standout center would be playing in 2012, right?

Earlier in November, Bynum suffered yet another setback to his knees...while bowling. Initial thoughts on the injury by fans such as myself, "You have got to be kidding me."

As of now, Bynum does not have a set timetable to return to basketball activities. Few reports have indicated the possibility of a season ending surgery for Bynum, ending a season that has still yet to begin.

To this point, the biggest highlight Bynum has made this season was his nappy, Ike Turner haircut. He has proven to be Philadelphia's biggest disappointment in 2012, besides the Philadelphia Eagles 3-7 record ofcourse.

To stay slightly optimistic, lets look at the positives of this trade. The Sixers are only on the hook for the 2012-2013 season. If the thought comes to resign him, it can be assumed that due to his injury history, he will not receive a max contract.

Also, believe it or not, Bynum was not the only piece that the Sixers received in the Iguodala-featured trade. Orlando shipped shooting guard Jason Richardson to Philadelphia to complete the three team trade. This season for the Sixers, Richardson is averaging 13.1 points per game along with providing a veteran presence in one of the NBA's youngest rosters.

After averaging 19.1 points and 12.1 rebounds with the Lakers last season, one doctor does not expect to see Bynum suit up for the Sixers this season. What was supposed to be Philadelphia's own version of a Hollywood ending may turn into a similar career comparable to that of former NBA center Greg Oden for Bynum.

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