Remember when the Cavaliers almost traded for Andrew Bynum?
No ones really saying how close the Cavs actually came to obtaining Bynum from the Lakers in the off-season, but theres no doubt they were involved in talks. Instead, Bynum was shipped to Philadelphia in a deal that send Dwight Howard from Orlando to the Lakers.
And Bynum hasnt played. Not preseason, not now, not once. And no one really seems to know when that will change, with Bynums knee issues seemingly getting worse by the second. Its as if his knees are made of scrambled eggs.
Now, imagine if the Cavs had traded for Bynum. The cost likely wouldve been something along the lines of Anderson Varejao and a first-round draft pick, potentially a lottery pick. Imagine Bynum not being able to play. Imagine the Cavs not having Varejao, not having Bynum, not having anything at all to show for their best veteran and other fine assets.
Granted, Bynum will probably play at some point. He has to, right?
And the 76ers will likely turn a corner once he does. When healthy, you could make the case that Bynum is the games best center -- certainly top two along with Howard.
Right now, the Sixers are far from bad. Point guard Jrue Holiday is off to a career start, and third-year guard Evan Turner and several others have had their moments.
But the Sixers arent everything they hoped they could be, not yet. Things would be a lot worse for a team like the Cavs, a team that values its assets and possesses a strong desire to see this process through.
Again, this still may work out for the Sixers. With a healthy Bynum, they become instant contenders.
But its worked out well for the Cavs, too. If theyre going to take risks, theyd better darn well be calculated.
It just goes to show that sometimes, the best trades are the ones you never make.
Wells Fargo Arena, Philadelphia
6 p.m. EST
FOX Sports Ohio HD (Cavaliers Live pre-game show begins at 5:30 p.m.)
Cleveland - WTAM-1100 AM (broadcast begins at 5:30 p.m.)
C Anderson Varejao; PF Tristan Thompson; SF Alonzo Gee; SG Dion Waiters; PG Kyrie Irving. Coach: Byron Scott.
C Kwame Brown; PF Thaddeus Young; SF Evan Turner; SG Jason Richardson; PG Jrue Holiday. Coach: Doug Collins.
The Cavs have won eight of 10 in Philly. They enter Sundays game as the NBA leader in fewest second-chance points allowed (8.1). Part of that, however, may be because opponents are connecting on their first chance. Turner, the No. 2 overall pick out of Ohio State in 2010, is averaging 10.7 points and a career-high 7.6 rebounds. Cavs guard Daniel Gibson has hit double figures in scoring in four of his last five games. In the one game he didnt hit double figures, he didnt score at all. Waiters 14.7 ppg is third among rookies. He also leads all rookies in three-point percentage (46 percent). The Sixers lead the all-time series, 97-87.