Feels good. Will be ready for camp. Isn’t inclined to open a vein and bleed all over the national media about his contract situation.
If you follow the Philadelphia 76ers and take new general manager Tony DiLeo at his word, Andrew Bynum’s first season with the Sixers won’t have much in common with Dwight Howard’s last season in Orlando.
DiLeo, at his introductory news conference Monday, told reporters that the newly acquired 7-foot center was back in the U.S. and feeling the benefits of a plasma-therapy treatment he received recently in Germany, a la former Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant. Bynum, DiLeo said, would be ready for training camp next week at Saint Joseph’s University.
And, no, the Sixers and the big man haven’t talked yet about a contract extension, Tom Moore wrote for phillyburbs.com. Which, if they stick to that strategy all season, would be both logical and smart.
“His agent said he wants to come to the surroundings and see the team, see the atmosphere,” DiLeo said. “He’s been very, very happy. His agent said he hasn’t seen him this happy in a long time.
“I think everything will work out. I think we’ll like Andrew and Andrew will like it here. At the appropriate time, we’ll do the negotiations.”
That’s logical because Bynum, under the NBA’s new rules on extensions, would be limited to a three-year deal worth about $60 million if he signs during this season (after reaching his six-month requirement with Philadelphia on Feb. 10). If he enters free agency and re-ups with the Sixers, he could get five years worth upwards of $100 million.
That’s smart, too, because putting one’s business out in the street, the way Howard, the Magic and assorted reps on both sides did last season made for a hellish 2011-12. Not just for them but for the league overall and folks who got drawn into following the melodramatics.
So as antsy as Sixers fans might be to lock in Bynum as their center of the future, they’ll be better off this season, with a future that could stretch two years longer, if they all are patient and quiet till July.